DeNA launches iPhone social network MiniNation

Japanese publisher targeting a global audience

DeNA launches iPhone social network MiniNation
Expanding beyond its focus on its home market, Japanese games giant DeNA has launched a social network on iPhone designed to link up players all over the globe.

Called MiniNation, the network comprises of four fairly simple mini-games and a focus on community-like aspects - a message system, avatars and profiles all included into the bargain.

The games themselves are available as four separate downloads, each title tapping into the DeNA part-owned Aurora Feint's OpenFeint network - allowing players to leap from one game to the next using the same avatar and profile.

Going west

It is, apparently, just a start, with TechCrunch reporting DeNA has every intention to expand beyond this initial run of four games, presumably tapping into more games from its popular Moba-ge-town social games portal in Japan.

The move follows a deal with Yahoo! announced last month, with the two parties launching yet another social games network in Japan, called Yahoo! Mobage.

Allowing players to play the same titles on both mobile and PC, it's being viewed as an attempt by DeNA to command a greater influence on social gaming in the coming months.


Cause for concern

However, some have already expressed concern regarding what impact MiniNation can hope to have in an App Store already populated by a wealth of casual titles and social network link-ups.

DeNA says it plans to introduce in-app purchases of sorts in the future – avatar related and virtual items likely to be up for sale – but translation issues and a lack of fresh appeal could yet hamper DeNA's attempts to make a big mark in the west.

[source: TechCrunch]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.