Line, the Japan-made mobile messaging app with more than 100 million registered users, has announced [Google Translate link] that apps on its games platform have crossed 100 million cumulative downloads.
Launched in July 2012, Line Game allows users to play games with their friends via the Line app. Once both parties have downloaded a specific title (Line users can prompt friends to download particular games) they both load the game and are ready to go. Currently there are 16 games available for iOS and Android devices.
As you might expect, Japan is the biggest downloader of titles, accounting for more than 45 million to date. Line-maker NHN Japan says it is also focusing on countries in East Asia that are showing strong growth, such as Thailand and Taiwan — two markets where Line boasts more than 10 million downloads.
The landmark is impressive and it builds on what we already know: Line is seeing a huge volume of downloads via the games extension. Indeed, its flagship games — matching game Line Pop and Bust-a-Move-like Line Bubble — hit a cumulative 30 million downloads in January.
The progress of Line and Line Games has seen it capture the attention of the global tech industry thanks to the revenue it is making.
A Distimo report from December highlighted Line Pop as an example of how apps can make money from a wide user base. The analytics firm estimates that the game attracted 1 million downloads in just one day and a total of 1.75 million over its first three days. The app is also believed to have brought in $1 million in revenue in the first 12 days alone.
Equally, a report from App Annie last week found that Line had displaced WhatsApp to become the highest earning social networking apps in the App Store, thanks to its games and stickers services. It was the top grossing non-game app on Google Play in January.
Line isn’t just focused on Japan and Southeast Asia, it expanded into China in December 2012 — to take on WeChat and its 300 million user base — and has also launched in the US where it has the tough job of competing with Skype, iMessage, Facebook, GroupMe and others.
The company isn’t the only one offering games, but its catalogue is wider than rivals like Kakao Talk. Today’s landmark goes some way to explain why Japanese mobile games giants DeNA and GREE — two billion dollar companies in their own right — have both jumped into the mobile messaging space.
Headline image via hushenpaul.pixnet