DeNA, the Japanese operator of the successful Mobage social game platform, has joined the competitive mobile social messaging market with its new service, Comm.
DeNA sees the Comm social messaging app as a way of further strengthening its presence in the smartphone platform market, and hopes that it will help grow its user base through the viral spread of social messaging services.
The marriage of gaming and messaging is mutually beneficial, as it will help grow customer engagement with the gaming platform and provide a sound business model for the messaging service. In addition, messaging will also help aggregate DeNA’s non-gaming businesses, including its e-commerce offering, Bidders, into a one-stop mobile portal.
From social gaming and messaging to content platforms
The Mobage platform has over 45 million users in Japan alone, and DeNA’s games-related revenues reached $512.5 million (42.2 billion yen) in 2Q12. The introduction of Comm will allow the company to offer a greater suite of services to its smartphone users.
DeNA’s main rival in Japan has traditionally been another social game platform operator, Gree, but both now face competition from the increasing number of strong content platforms in the region.
DeNA is not the first service to take steps towards becoming a content platform: messaging apps KakaoTalk and Line have each diversified into the role of mobile content platform. These providers will be two of the largest threats to DeNA and Gree, because both have large existing social messaging user bases and are transforming into diverse content businesses (with a strong focus on mobile gaming).