NHN’s Japan has officially brought it’s Line Play virtual world application out of beta, and is now officially launching. The service reportedly has over a million users already as it comes out of the gate, which gives it a decent userbase to start. The Line Play app can be downloaded for both iOS and Android, but so far it’s only available in Japan only.
From what I can tell, it’s pretty much an Ameba Pigg rip-off, with the same cute characters, the same sort of virtual environments, and room decoration (see the video promo below). In contrast, Ameba Pigg (from CyberAgent) has over 13 million users . CyberAgent is making a big push to move many of those users onto smartphones, so the two companies are going to be fighting over some of the same users for sure.
Line Play first became available in beta about a month ago, and since then the reception looks ok, with Line claiming a million users, as mentioned above. But when we think about Line and its super-effective distribution channel over its chat app, a million users may not be all that impressive. For example, the Line Birzzle game had two million downloads on its first day back in July, and more recently Line Pop reached 10 million downloads in only 12 days.
It’s interesting to watch Line push out such a diverse range of mobile services and apps. I’m not sure how long NHN Japan can keep it up, but it’s certainly forcing other companies in the country to up their game. [Via Japan.Internet.com]
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