While chat app Tango isn’t that well-known in Asia compared to LINE and KakaoTalk, the fact that Alibaba put in a Series D funding of US$280 million in the company last March proves that it may have plans to break regional boundaries.
Now it’s planning to get bigger by opening up a Tango Global Games Fund (via TechCrunch), to help expand its own game platform that was launched in 2013. How much is this funding programme worth? Try US$25 million.
The programme’s objective is to support game developers that partner with it using those funds. Tango will give their games front page top billing, with the more popular ones getting promotions. The company will also plan for investments and acquisitions in willing game studios when needed. And no, they’re not going to accept clones of already-existing games like Flappy Bird.
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This being a global initiative and developers/experts telling e27 time and again that publishing and mass marketing is usually a hurdle for Southeast Asian game developers, this is another opportunity for those in the region to consider. To recap: Tango has 200 million users who are known to try out random games on messaging apps. That’s a lot of potential eyeballs and users a small-time game developer with not much of a network can take advantage of.
The company also has a healthy list of more than 40 game partners like Gameloft, so its mobile gaming platform is sound and attractive enough for newbie developers in Asia to jump on board. It’s up to the game and its developer’s efforts in social networking and marketing to get audience’s constant and undivided attention.
This puts them at odds now with chat app/gaming platforms LINE and KakaoTalk, that have established themselves as pioneers in that hybrid category. Whatever the case, other chat apps like WhatsApp should do well in making themselves stand out, as the whole ‘platform-within-a-platform’ trend is not dying down anytime soon. Interested parties can sign up for the programme.