Daum Mobage – DeNA’s Social Game Platform To Be Provided In Korea

DeNA announced today that DeNA’s Korean subsidiary DeNA Seoul and Popular Korean Internet portal Daum [Kr] agreed to provide Korean version of its social game platform Mobage to 38 million Daum users. The release date will be targeted in 2011 4Q for smartphone users.

In Japan, DeNA has been cooperating with the nation’s largest portal Yahoo! Japan on PC-version social game networking Yahoo! Mobage for more an year. Yahoo! Mobage added more users from PC by it.

TOKYO, JAPAN – November 8, 2011 — DeNA Co., Ltd. (DeNA), today announced that its Seoul-based wholly owned subsidiary, DeNA Seoul Co., Ltd, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Daum Communications Corp. on bringing DeNA’s Mobage social gaming platform to South Korea through Daum’s popular Web portal and mobile apps. This Mobage Korea service will be focused primarily on smartphone users in South Korea and is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2012.

By leveraging Daum’s existing 38 million registered users, social graphs and AD@m, South Korea’s largest mobile advertisement network with over 10 billion monthly page views, DeNA Seoul will be able to bring Mobage Korea to millions of new consumers. The two companies will also collaborate to promote Mobage Korea on Daum’s websites and apps.

Daum will also be able to take advantage of DeNA’s proven expertise in platform operations, delivering internationally popular social game titles to their users with Mobage Korea, in addition to growing its own social game offerings.

Game developers across the globe will also be able to benefit from the planned collaboration, with global development tools such as the Mobage API to help them deliver games to the rapidly-growing smartphone market in Korea and other countries worldwide.

Daum’s Web portal (www.daum.net) is visited by nearly 93% of South Korea’s Internet users every month. Daum’s Web portal receives approximately 20 billion page views each month. More than 38 million people have registered on Daum, and MyPeople, Daum’s free fixed/mobile voice call and text chat service, has more than 14 million users.

“Through synergies with DeNA and domestic mobile game developers, we plan to build the nation’s top mobile gaming network.” said Kyongwan Son, Daum’s Director of New Initiative Division. “Daum has lead the domestic mobile market with AD@m, MyPeople and Daum MAP among other offerings. We will leverage such services to focus our power on mobile games business.”

“South Korea is an explosive market for smartphones and social mobile games and DeNA is excited to collaborate with Daum to deliver Mobage Korea to South Korean gamers.” said Steven Yang, DeNA Seoul’s Regional Head. “Mobage Korea will deliver great games to local audiences, while also helping developers around the world quickly and easily deliver their contents to an increasingly global audience.”

DeNA International site release

NAVER, Korean based new communication search services landed on Japan, again

Yes, they come again. This time with solid determination and good amount of resources in Tokyo.

NAVER, number one Web search service in Korea has started open beta service for Japanese market.It is their second entry for Japanese market since their first attempt which was ended 2005 due to focus on domestic market, or simply said failed.

They held press conference in their new Tokyo HQ in Osaki for their new search service, http://www.naver.jp/.  Yasuyuki Matsushita of Asiajin interviewed Jun Masuda, Chief Strategist of NAVER Japan for their plans and future.

Compared to current market leaders, Google and Yahoo! which serve tons of search traffics for our daily Internet life, NAVER introduces new concept which combines search functions and popular social bookmarks or recommendation akin to my list on Amazon.com. The idea of NAVER seems like mixture of search, social bookmarks and some SNS in one place.

New NAVER site has cool simple interface with their corporate green color, which is apparently differ from traditional Korean design taste. But under the hood, NAVER integrates key features like search news topics, photos, movies, blogs and consumer generated contents which enables you to gather favorite items on simple collections.

Their clean top page designed in green
Their clean top page designed in green

You can of course search web but in same time, you can create your favorite list of items (photos, movies, blog, comments and reviews etc which dubbed “matome search” meaning “your collection on search” which you can share or add comments on your designated ID. This function is much similar to social bookmark services with SNS in mind, but NAVER offers more value because you can find someone which has similar preference within NAVER space.

You can create your favorite collection like car you own or your favorite movie star, by sharing these collections, you can reduce noise or garbage in search result which sometimes happen traditional search engine, Mr. Masuda said.

It seems NAVER values more human created collections or recommendation than width or depth of search. Their key new features like matome-search and smart folder tells that user demands more sophisticated results.

One of the my questions at press conference was how they will make money based on new search services. Mr.Masuda answered that NAVER do not evaluate their business in short term, meaning not a year or two. He also mentioned that these new features were planned, designed and developed in Japan which is huge step forward for company from other countries. This shows their strong will to dive in to somewhat crowded market called Japan, as a comeback boy in the game of Internet services.

Mr. Masuda emphasize that because NAVER Japan will not plan revenue from this start, they will evaluate number of registered users and collections user generated.
He also mentioned that mobile version of VAVER will come out around August so we can see much more traffic thru mobile phones especially from mid to high teen generations soon.

So their challenge might come in two points, first one is how they can gather users within NAVER who will be willing to generate comments or favorite lists. Then next one will be how they can convince content providers (news sites, photo or video sharing sites) to legitimate their use of those contents in NAVER. And of course, biggest question is how to make money.

But for now, we should welcome their comeback to Japanese market as a challenge against giants like Yahoo! and Google in search business, and social bookmarks and SNS in hatena and mixi. it is certainly valuable for other venture companies to monitoring their efforts to re-enter new market.

Yes, they come again, welcome back !!

Yasuyuki Matsushita

Daum Starts Advanced Map Services in Korea

Daum Logo

Daum, the largest portal site in Korea started new map features (ROAD VIEW and SKY VIEW) on January 18th.

Daum has been providing map service in Korea. But they were not so competitive in the map service market. By providing this map features, I think Daum’s map has quite competitive in Korean map service market.

daum_roadview_01

daum_roadview_01-1

daum_roadview_02

ROAD VIEW is similiar to Google’s Street view. The resloution is incredibly high.

Using DSLR camera, they could take high-resolution pictures. As you see in this picture, the pedestrian’s faces are blurred, so are number plates of cars.

Full-screen mode allows users to enlarge map.

Although there is only Seoul served at this point, they are going to expand service area.

daum_skyview_01

SKY VIEW is not a satellite picture. It was taken by low-altitude aircraft. Some Korean users say, “I saw my dog’s kennel! on SKYVIEW”.

Since it was taken by aircraft, quality of photos is better than google map. SKYVIEW provides maps throughout the Korea.

Register for Open Web Asia ’08!

Open Web Asia ’08 is just two week ahead. Don’t forget to register and attend!

Now, our registration form is much improved. If you had any problem to register before, please try again with our new form by Amiando.

Open Web Asia is a rare occassion for Asian Web industry people to gather in one place.

Loic Le Meur, a CEO of Seesmic and a founder of LeWeb (the biggest Internet conference in Europe), and Jason Calacanis, a CEO of Mahalo and a co-host of TechCrunch50, are going to talk at OpenWebAsia. It’s a great opportunity to see Web industry’s giants in East Asia.

Our writers (arai, 8maki, and 2others) are going to attend too. See you at the conference!