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Kakao Game Center an instant hit

Kakao, the creator of Korea’s most-used mobile messenger Kakao Talk, is seeing rapid growth in its mobile gaming platform business.

Since the launch of Kakao Game Center on July 30, two games released via Kakao’s gaming platform have topped the charts on Google Play, an app market for Android-based smartphone users.

“Anipang,” developed by Kakao’s strategic partner Sundaytoz, has become the top grossing game in Korea, edging over the popular “Rule the Sky” by JCE, part of Korea’s biggest gamer Nexon, and even “Angry Birds” by Rovio.

Anipang, a puzzle game featuring animals such as rabbits and cats, recorded daily active user numbers of 1 million in 15 days since its release, and increased to over 3 million as of today.

The other game, “Viking Island,” by WeMade has also become a hit, ranking fourth in terms of gross on Google Play. WeMade formed a strategic partnership with Kakao through an equity investment in the mobile messenger.

The success of the games is going to further help establish its gaming platform as its sustainable business model for the company, said a spokeswoman for Kakao.

“The popularity of the games ‘channeled’ through the platform has proven that the company has developed a profit model,” she said.

Analysts also said that the company was likely to see further momentum.

“Kakao’s Game Center has proven to be an effective game channel where the market can expect to see Kakao maximize synergy with its partners such as WeMade,” said Sung Jong-hwa, an analyst of E-Trade Securities.

Kakao has long been viewed externally as a company without a solid business model given that its mobile messenger, used by over 50 million people worldwide, is free.

However, the spokeswoman said its gaming platform will help change this perception.

She noted that Kakao currently has partnerships with seven game developers.

By Park Hyong-ki (
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Korea Herald daum