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Alibaba invests in Chinese mobile social platform KTplay as it builds out gaming network

Date Type Companies involved Size
December 10th, 2014 investment Alibaba
KTplay
Yodo1
Not disclosed
Alibaba invests in Chinese mobile social platform KTplay as it builds out gaming network

Well known as the publisher of western games in China, and more recently as a global publisher, Chinese outfit Yodo1 has also demonstrated its technological smarts.

Originally deployed as its inhouse social platform, it's struck a deal with the cash-rich and expansionist Alibaba to roll out its Kryptanium network as a separate company.

Called KTplay, the technology is coming out of its closed beta program in China with its reputation enhanced by integration within over 50 titles.

Indeed, more than 700 developers are signed up to use the technology, which is expected to formally go live to everyone in early 2015.

And it's this sort of scale that's already seen millions of players using KTplay.

More than 60 million games that integrate the technology have been downloaded within four months, with the to-date peak user total being 5.2 million.

Sticky games

As with social networks in the west such as OpenFeint - eventually replaced by the likes of Game Center and Facebook Connect - the goal of KTplay is to provide a network that enables gaming communities to interact together and grow.

Partly this is a function of features like leaderboards, social gifting, live events, and messaging - both between players and player-to-developer, although making the most of these in the context of their games is down to the developers.

Of course, for developers, the longterm hope is that integrating KTplay into their games will increase revenue.

For example, Yodo1 has revealed that its title OMG:TD! saw revenue increase 400 percent when it integrated the network.

Playing with a big beast

"Originally Kryptanium was a start-up within a start-up, but now it's a separate team in a separate office," says Yodo1 CEO Henry Fong, of the Beijing-based joint venture, which is already 80 staff-strong.

And thanks to the Alibaba connection, KTplay is also starting to consider what additional synergies it can generate with the company's other resources, which range from app distribution and payment services to app analytics outfit Umeng.

But according to KTplay's chief product office Spencer Liu, the company's immediate focus is more short-term.

"We're currently focused on product improvements to ensure the technology is valuable to developers and users," he says.

"We want to ensure we're offering more than just leaderboards and friends list but something that's a deeply integrated part of the game, making them more interesting and more social experiences for their players."

You can find out more about KTplay here.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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Bruce Allen VanBlaricom
Need to recover my Hempire account.. I screenshot my old account and new account they had me restart game