Mobile developer Ngmoco, along with parent company DeNA, is planning to expand its Japanese social gaming network Mobage to iOS and Android devices globally next year.
The network current claims 20 million users in Japan and, when launched worldwide, will build on Ngmoco's existing mobile plus+ network – which claims 13.5 million users. At this stage, it is unclear as to whether Mobage will serve as a replacement for, or augmentation of plus+, but either way, it will face stiff competition from the likes of Apple's own Game Centre and Aurora Feint's Openfeint.
Speaking to CNN, Ngmoco CEO, Neil Young, said that he hopes to "globalize what DeNA has been able to do in Japan," and stressed its benefits over other more generalised networks.
"Sometimes you don't want your friends and family knowing that you're playing these games every day," he said. "It's hard for people in the West to get their heads around how big it is in Japan. What's happening in Japan is really a blueprint for what's going to happen here."
Japanese mobile giant DeNA recently claimed that Mobage Town, its microtransaction-driven PC social game network, boasted an ARPU 30 times higher than that of Facebook. DeNA purchased Ngmoco for $403 million last month.
A sign-up page for the Mobage beta is already live on the Ngmoco website.