Chat App Viber Introduces Video games In An Preliminary 5 Nations, Plans International Rollout In 2015
It’s been fairly a yr for Viber, and now the cellular messaging firm is seeing out 2014 with arguably its most vital launch thus far: the launch of a social video games platform.
Viber, which was purchased by Japan’s Rakuten for $900 million again in February — proper earlier than Fb acquired WhatsApp — is taking a leaf from the Asian messaging app playbook with the launch of an preliminary three video games. It isn’t a worldwide launch nevertheless. These titles shall be obtainable for iOS and Android customers in an preliminary 5 markets — Belarus, Malaysia, Israel, Singapore and the Ukraine — with the corporate planning to roll them out to all Viber customers worldwide in January 2015.
Earlier this yr, founder Talmon Marco stated Viber would introduce video games earlier than the top of 2014, and the corporate has nearly caught to that timeline. Nearly.
Like different chat apps, linking a Viber account to the video games platform will permit customers to faucet their social graph to do issues like ship presents to pals, examine social-powered recreation leaderboards, problem pals, battle buddies, share their scores and extra. Viber may also earn a living from any digital gadgets purchased contained in the video games, minus the reduce that Apple and Google tackle Android and iOS respectively.
Viber will look to the examples of Korea’s Kakao Speak, which turned worthwhile final yr because of its video games platform, and Japan’s Line, which clocked $192 million in Q3 2014 income because of video games and has seen over 300 million cumulative downloads from its two-yr-previous gaming platform.
A Curated Choice Of
Marco informed TechCrunch in an interview that the corporate is aiming to take care of a clutch of handpicked title somewhat than an enormous variety of video games. To that time, the ‘Viber Join’ API is staying present for chosen companions solely.
“We’ll companion with different recreation builders sooner or later, however our strategy is to not have a whole lot of video games, simply small extremely curated choice,” he stated.
“We have now needed to do video games for fairly some time, our plans have been in course of lengthy earlier than the acquisition,” Marco added.
Social gaming started with corporations like Kakao Speak, WeChat and Line in Asia, however this yr has seen the likes of Kik, Tango and now Viber — providers which have vital consumer bases within the West — enter the fray. Marco stated he’s wanting ahead to the response of Viber’s 209 million month-to-month lively customers, however he additionally outlined that Viber’s video games platform has been designed in order to not intrude with the core messaging expertise for customers.
There’s a devoted part contained in the app for recreation notifications and different associated messages, and customers can choose out of that if they want.
“When you don’t need to play video games, Viber will keep precisely how it’s for you… however the video games are numerous enjoyable,” Marco stated, laughing at his personal habit to Viber Pop.
Along with an upcoming international launch for video games and the introduction of extra titles for customers, Marco teased quite a few “business tie-ups” that may come to Viber within the first quarter of 2015 to “give customers extra capabilities.”
We lately noticed Tango associate with Spotify, whereas Line is launching music streaming and video providers, so it appears logical that Viber will leap into leisure sooner or later — notably given the current introduction of Viber Chat, a communication platform that lets celebrities and entertainers to faucet into the service’s international presence.
First up although, the corporate is getting ready to submit its remaining replace for 2014, which can deliver iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ compatibility to Viber for iOS.