TOKYO -- Yahoo Japan is breaking into smartphone game development and distribution with a venture aimed at creating highly polished titles for experienced gamers.
The company recently formed a joint venture with Incubate Fund, a venture capital firm with a track record of investing in game companies. While Yahoo Japan will secure developers internally, it is considering teaming up with game companies in Incubate Fund's portfolio as well. Plans call for launching about one title a month starting in April.
Hit games are already plentiful in genres accessible to a wide audience, such as puzzles. Yahoo Japan intends to mainly develop difficult titles aimed at advanced gamers, to be played seriously over longer periods of time. It plans to create games offering experiences on a par with home console titles, including high-quality graphics and smooth controls. The company has not mentioned any specifics regarding content.
Such titles are referred to as "core" games. Some allow multiple players to participate, controlling characters in the game as they go on adventures or march into battle. The advent of high-end smartphones has made it possible to offer such games on mobile devices, but high development costs, among other factors, have kept hits scarce.
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