And so, it begins. The first salvo hath been fired. The shooter: Japanese mobile social games giant DeNA. The ammunition: Mobage, its social games platform for smartphones now run by Ngmoco, creator of iPhone hit Godfinger. Pocket Gamer reports that the first phase of DeNA's conquest for global mobile games domination has begun with Mobage's release in the U.S, China and a list of English-speaking countries.
The platform, first released for Android phones, will expand into other countries "soon," according to Pocket Gamer. Mobage currently hosts 20 free games available to players in the states and China like Pocket God, We Rule and Zombie Farm. Many of which, according to Pocket Gamer, will debut on Android through Mobage.
"Mobage's release outside of Japan marks the next step in our company's global expansion," Neil Young, Ngmoco CEO and DeNA executive officer, said. "The opportunity in front of us is to build Mobage into the definitive destination for games and entertainment across territories and mobile operating systems."
The platform works a lot like Facebook does for web-based social games in that it handles the release and payment for games and virtual goods within the network. However, it's far more focused on those games, with support for chat, meeting friends through games and more. The platform releases just as Zynga ramps up its mobile gaming efforts with two releases, Hanging with Friends and CityVille Hometown, in just two months. (Though, Mobage will have the bloodiest social game ever among others from some legendary Japanese designers.) Mobage is available now for free in the Android Market, though no word on an iOS release ... yet.