"Alright, guys, time-in." If the mobile social games space were a game of tag in the schoolyard, that's essentially what Japanese social game maker DeNA just said. The company announced that the ngmoco-powered Mobage platform for Western Android devices is out of open beta. Ngmoco CEO Neil Young said, "Mobage has come out of beta," according to GamesIndustry.biz.
Certainly an apt description of current events, but we'll take it. Since Mobage launched this July, the service hasn't enjoyed much success. Despite that, a number of games from Zombie Farm to We Rule already hit the top 25 on the Android Market while on Mobage. However, according to Young, that was just a test.
"The beta period allowed us to test, refine and prove the service, assuring a superb user experience with Mobage and our world-class suite of games," Young said. "We now start the process of scaling the service and it is great to already see our games ranking high in the charts."
A wild success or not, DeNA is already ahead of its arch nemesis, Gree. The competing Japanese mobile social game network has yet to release its OpenFeint-backed global games network, though it has said that it's coming ... in 2012. Of course, there's also the mighty Zynga to worry about, which might have a few mobile tricks up its sleeves with Project Z. It looks like we'll have to wait another year to see the mobile social games race pick up the pace.
How do you connect with friends in your mobile games? Which of these three companies do you think will provide the best service?