NTT Docomo invested an undisclosed amount in Rovio subsidiary Hatch Entertainment, a cloud-based game streaming service, as part of a partnership that will see the operator bring more games to its Japanese customers.
The two said in a joint announcement the deal will “bring the 5G gaming revolution to Japanese consumers in 2020,” though the initial step will occur next week when Hatch Entertainment’s services will be launched in Japan for Android phones and Docomo’s Android TV set top boxes.
Users will be offered a free 90-day trial membership for Hatch Premium, which gives them access to around 100 games available to play on mobile and TV including Monument Valley, Space Invaders Infinity Gene and Hitman Go.
Another part of the deal is that Hatch Entertainment will work with Japanese game developers and publishers to make locally-created titles available globally.
Hatch Entertainment CEO Juhani Honkala said he was excited Docomo would help it “take our vision of cloud gaming mainstream” in an “extremely competitive” market.
Docomo’s consumer business department director, Takanori Ashikawa, added: “We are excited to work together with Hatch, a great example of the new type of consumer services, which can bring out its potential towards the 5G era.”
Rovio owns 80 per cent of Hatch Entertainment, which operates as an independent subsidiary.
The company’s cloud gaming is already available for Android devices in the Nordics, UK and Republic of Ireland. Rovio EVP Mikko Setala told Reuters Apple currently does not accept streaming services in the App Store.
In 2018, Rovio said it was looking to invest between €10 million and €15 million in Hatch Entertainment, up from €5 million in 2017.