Rakuten launches HTML5 gaming platform in Japan - Mobile World Live

Rakuten launches HTML5 gaming platform in Japan

04 APR 2017

Rakuten Games launched an HTML5 gaming platform in Japan as it seeks to “enter the mobile gaming market completely outside of the traditional app store approach.”

RGames offers 15 free-to-play titles, which can be accessed on smartphones and through a browser on a PC, including Rakuten original Don Don Dragon and games incorporating the IP of other publishers including Pac-Run, which is based on Pacman, and Space Invaders-derived Invader Blast.

Developing the games in HTML5 means users do not need to download any software or updates.

The platform also offers social features enabling users to compete with each other, share gameplay videos and earn rewards.

A virtual currency named Medals is used to purchase in-game items and can be bought with Rakuten Super Points, a loyalty programme for customers of Rakuten’s shopping service, users of which number 114 million.

Shigenori Araki, CEO of Rakuten Games, said: “We hope to change the way people view web content and close the gap between web and native apps to become the first HTML5 game platform upon which users from all around the world can interact with each other.”

Ernestine Fu, an independent board director, added: “Rakuten’s huge audience in key monetisation demographics, access to IP in Japan, and superior alternative to the app stores make this initiative a game changer.”

Rakuten Games is a game development and operation company established through a joint investment with Blackstorm Labs, a developer of technology designed to enable companies to produce non-app store services.

In the future Rakuten wants to exand its HTML5 games and “create a new type of entertainment service”.

The company is not alone in using HTML5. In 2016, Telegram launched a HTML5 gaming platform through which bots can be used to play games within chats, as did Facebook for its Messenger app.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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