Japanese commerce company Rakuten is planning to open a gaming platform optimised for mobile in Japan this month.
The company has established a new gaming unit to operate the platform. It is headed up by Shigenori Araki, who has previously held senior roles at Take-Two and EA.
The platform will be browser-based but optimised for smartphone use. Rakuten will be releasing its own games on the platform, as well as publishing games from third-party developers.
Up against the big boys
It has partnered with California-based start-up Blackstorm Labs to develop the platform. Blackstorm had previously raised $33.5 million in investment, some of which came from Rakuten.
The platform will launch first in Japan where Rakuten's main customer base is. It faces stiff competition, though, such as from the hugely popular LINE messaging service.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]