This article was published on August 6, 2014

Chat app Line is investing $100 million to create social games for your smartphone


Chat app Line is investing $100 million to create social games for your smartphone
Jon Russell
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Jon Russell

Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

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.

➤ Line announcements (1) (2) [Japanese]

Related: Line shutters a third of its games to refocus on more successful titles