Line, the chat app company closing in on 500 million registered users, is doubling down on gaming after announcing a 10 billion yen ($97 million) fund for developers who produce titles for its social games platform. It has also bought a 10 percent stake in fast-growing Japanese games publisher Gumi.
Games account for more than half of Line’s revenue, but the lion’s share of that is generated by users in Japan. The new fund will launch in September with the aim of growing the games platform (and its revenues) worldwide. US rival Tango launched a smaller $25 million fund for its Asia-inspired games platform last month.
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The 40 games on Line’s platform have racked up more than 400 million cumulative downloads, the company says. Line issued two announcements in Japanese today, but confirmed the news to TNW in English.