Fri, Dec 28, 2012 - Page 13 News List

IGS, Chunghwa team up to push mobile games

EXPANDING:The game developer expects sales of online games for mobile platforms to double next year. It also plans to enter the South Korean market

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

International Games System Co (IGS, 鈊象電子), the nation’s largest arcade and online game developer, yesterday announced an exclusive partnership agreement with the nation’s largest telecoms carrier, Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), after launching a new online game.

The company, based in Wugu Industrial Park, New Taipei City (新北市), said during a signing ceremony that it would collaborate with Chunghwa to build the largest online gaming platform in the nation, and forecast that sales of its online games for mobile platforms would double next year from this year.

Steve Chiang (姜伯威), manager of IGS’ arcade game division, said one of the company’s most popular games — Salon Boss I, an interactive social game with the player acting as the owner of a beauty salon — has attracted more than 300,000 iPad and iPhone users in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau who have downloaded it through Apple Inc’s App Store since the beginning of the year.

Earlier this month, IGS launched an updated version of the popular online game not only for Apple’s App Store, but also for Google Inc’s Play store and Chunghwa’s Hami Apps for Android-device users. So far, more than 100,000 Taiwanese have downloaded the game, Chiang said.

“As the global software market is expanding and growing at a rapid pace, we are gradually shifting our target to some of our key application software segments and have developed many online game products for mobile platforms,” Chiang told reporters after the ceremony.

According to a report released by the government-funded Institute for Information Industry in April, the number of apps downloads in Taiwan was expected to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 63 percent from 11 million in 2010 to 77 million in 2014.

Arcade games sales currently account for about 62 percent of IGS’ revenue, while online games sales represented 38 percent of the total, the company said on its Web site.

“We expect our collaboration with Chunghwa will help us explore the software market more easily, and are optimistic that the worldwide mobile devices market will continue to grow next year and that sales of our gaming applications will double,” Chiang said.

IGS plans to launch Korean and English versions of Salon Boss II next month to meet strong demand from South Korean and US customers.

The company also plans to sign agreements with the top three telecoms carriers in South Korea — SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG U+ — next month to become the first Taiwanese online game developer to enter that country’s application market, Chiang said.

As for introducing Windows 8 versions of its games, Chiang said the company had no plans to develop any product for the new operating system in the near future.

IGS stock closed unchanged at NT$112 in Taipei trading yesterday. It has dropped 44.83 percent since the beginning of the year, underperforming the GRETAI Securities Market index’s 9.35 percent rise.

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