PopCap Games is big in Japan, and getting bigger.
The Seattle-based company today said it’s launching a mobile, social game service for the Japanese market. Called “Pop Tower,” a joint venture with Square Enix subsidiary Taito Corp.
Pop Tower is part of an Asian blitz by the 10-year-old company, which first established the viability of the Seattle-centered casual games business with its breakout hit “Bejeweled.”
PopCap opened an Asia-Pacific office in Shanghai in 2008. That led to big projects in the region’s largest markets. In August PopCap disclosed plans to partner with RenRen, one of China’s largest social networking sites, and in September it announced plans for a Korean multiplayer game service — PopCap World — that will be offered with NCsoft.
Pop Tower will include custom, social versions of games such as “Bejeweled,” “Chuzzle” and “Zuma” that will be tied together in an entirely new metagame with role-playing game elements, designed for Japanese players.
PopCap previously sold more than 1 million copies of its mobile games in Japan but hasn’t previously offered a mobile, social game.
Social games on mobile devices looks set to dominate gaming worldwide and Japan is already ahead of the curve,” James Gwertzman, PopCap’s vice president for Asia/Pacific, said in the release.
He said the company may use what it learns in Japan to offer mobile, social games internationally.