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DeNA joins ESA

By Brendan Sinclair

DeNA joins ESA

Wed 23 Jan 2013 6:57pm GMT / 1:57pm EST / 10:57am PST

Social and mobile outfit continues global push, joins US gaming trade group

The Entertainment Software Association welcomed another member today, as it announced the addition of DeNA to its ranks. The social and mobile gaming outfit brings the trade group's membership to 36 companies.

Joining the ESA is just the latest step DeNA has taken to increase its presence globally. Last year the company acquired San Francisco-based Ngmoco for $403 million. It then turned around and signed a series of deals with developers around the world, including China, New Zealand, Finland, France, Brazil, Canada and the US.

"It's very important for us to be part of an association that is dedicated to protecting the policy and business interests of the gaming industry in the US," DeNA CEO Isao Moriyasu said in a statement. "ESA provides valuable counsel and support as we expand our social game offerings and undertake new ventures to grow our business and our customer base in the West."

DeNA's primary rival in the social and mobile space,Gree, joined the ESA last August alongside NetDragon and Mad Catz.

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DeNA has close to 80 games available in Western markets and, though it is focused on creating dedicated content for the US, Europe and elsewhere, hit Japanese titles like Rage of Bahamut have done well overseas. The card game sat on the top grossing spot on Google Play for more than five months straight and it has been among the top ten grossing charts on the App Store since July.

The company picked up US-based Ngmoco, the iPhone game publisher, in 2011 in a $400 million deal that established a beach-head in the US. DeNA’s iOS games have been available in the country since March, and it is also making significant progress in China, where it has partnered with a range of influential mobile firms and social networks.

Arch rival GREE is also pushing its US presence after it bought Funzio for $210 million in May and Pokelabo for $175 million last month, building on the Stateside profile it enjoys courtesy of its 2011 acquisition of game network Openfeint for $104 million. GREE’s global gaming site was recently released in open beta.

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