International Games System Co (IGS, 鈊象電子), the nation’s largest video and online games developer, yesterday said it plans to increase its labor force by 20 percent to develop more gaming products for mobile devices this year.
“As more game players are shifting to mobile platforms to play games online with peers, IGS will continue rolling out more mobile games products this year to sustain sales growth,” IGS chairman Lee Ko-chu (李柯柱) told shareholders.
The company has assigned 150 to 200 employees to research and develop new mobile games for smartphones and tablets. The company plans to introduce a total of 10 mobile gaming applications for smartphones and tablets this year.
Lee said sales of mobile games are expected to grow and account for more than 20 percent of the company’s total sales of online games by the end of the year.
Shareholders yesterday approved the company’s proposal to distribute a cash dividend of NT$5.5 per common share on earnings of NT$311 million (US$10.39 million) last year, or NT$4.49 per share.
Last year’s earnings per share of NT$4.49 hit a record low in the company’s history after standing at more than NT$10 for seven years.
The company remains confident in its business outlook this year, especially mobile gaming applications, because “there is always demand for gaming activities in the market,” Lee said.
In addition, the company has adopted strict intellectual property protection measures to prevent the source code of its programs or software from being copied, he said.
For this year and next year, IGS plans to spend up to NT$90 million on research and development of online and mobile gaming products, and about NT$36 million developing new arcade game products, according to a report distributed to its shareholders.
Given that mobile gaming applications carry different features than those of productivity applications such as Microsoft Corp’s Office tools, the company will shorten its product renewal cycles to provide consumers with the latest products at a faster pace, IGS said.
The company currently only develops mobile gaming applications for Google Inc’s Android and Apple Inc’s iOS operating systems.
IGS yesterday did not specify whether the company has any intention of launching games for Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
IGS shares closed up 0.12 percent at NT$80.8 in Taipei trading yesterday, underperforming the broader market, which gained 0.23 percent.