SoftBank Ventures Korea, arm of Japanese telecommunications and internet company SoftBank, has invested in Turbo Studios, saying that it has game-changing ideas about how video games should be made. The move has been made to work on a new category of mobile games for core gamers.
Turbo Studios is a bit of an enigma. It has been operating in stealth mode since last year and has not announced any upcoming games or plans yet via its website. However, its CEO, Yohei Isshi, confirmed via Polygon that their first game will be released in 2014, and that it has been tailored to the expectations of the core gamer, a community that hasn’t really been properly embraced in mobile.
It is worth noting that before this development, SoftBank Corporation had also invested in Sprint, as well as T-mobile, which points to this being yet another move in congruence with a broader mobile strategy. Additionally, SoftBank Corporation invested in GungHo Online Entertainment, known for its hit game Puzzle and Dragons, which received 10 million downloads.
The Turbo Studios development team has been described as a “dream team”. It includes industry veterans from both, mobile and consoles backgrounds. These individuals have experience working in prominent companies such as Nintendo, Sony, CCP, Riot, Rockstar Games, OMGPOP, Q-Games, Kabam, and Zynga. Notably,CEO Isshi was the director of business development in Square Enix for North America from 2005 to 2007. He then went on to take up prominent roles in CCP Games and Live Gamers.
Games tailored to core gamers on mobile? That would be spectacular, and probably make us even more attached to our smartphones and tablets. Time will tell if the companies have the metaphorical muscle to back these ideas.