Virtual world Ameba Pico (Ameba Pigu in Japan) is a success story. The service was launched by Tokyo-based web powerhouse CyberAgent in February 2009 and went on attracting four million members [PDF] in Japan.
CyberAgent announced an English version in November 2009, which went online in March 2010. And if The Nikkei, Japan’s biggest business daily, is to be believed, that overseas version now has two million users (the Ameba Pico Facebook app boasts nearly 790,000 active users).
So it appears that CyberAgent has managed to replicate the success story overseas, which doesn’t happen too often in Japan’s web industry. But now The Nikkei reports that the Japanese Internet company has given the rights to market Ameba Pico to Silicon Valley-based Mochi Media.
Mochi Media (which was bought by Chinese gaming company Shanda earlier this year) will monetize and distribute CyberAgent’s platform outside Japan from now on. According to the Nikkei, CyberAgent hopes to attract 5 million non-Japanese Ameba Pico members by year-end under a revenue share deal.
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