Rakuten Games Launches HTML5 Social Gaming Platform “RGames”
Tokyo, April 4, 2017 – Rakuten Games, Inc., a Rakuten Group company, today announced the official launch of RGames, a social gaming platform that offers HTML5*1 games for users in Japan to enjoy on their smartphone or through the browser on their PC.
Launching the RGames Social Game Platform
RGames offers a diverse lineup of free-to-play*2 titles, including original titles developed by the company, such as “Don Don Dragon,” as well as new titles incorporating the IP of several major Japanese publishers. These include “Pac-Run,” a side-scrolling runner game based on Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc’s “Pacman” series, realized through Bandai Namco’s IP Opening Project*3, and “Invader Blast,” a shooting game jointly developed for RGames with Taito Corporation, based on the company’s “Space Invaders” title originally released in 1978. The games feature intuitive controls, making them accessible and enjoyable for both gaming fans and casual gamers alike.
The RGames platform also incorporates a variety of social features, allowing users to compete on scores and share gameplay videos, as well as challenges which users can earn rewards for completing, creating a more social gaming experience and promoting communication between users. In addition, “Medals,” the virtual currency used for purchasing in-game items, can be bought with Rakuten Super Points.
Launching Rakuten Games, Inc.
Rakuten Games, Inc. is a game development and operation company established through a joint investment by Rakuten, Inc. and Silicon Valley-based technology company, Blackstorm Labs Inc. Utilizing the HTML5 application development technologies and expertise of Blackstorm Labs, Rakuten Games is providing free-to-play HTML5*1 games through the RGames social gaming platform.
As the games are developed in HTML5, they can be played on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets and PCs, without the need for the user to download any software or updates, creating a frictionless play experience.
Moving forward, Rakuten Games will continue to work to expand its lineup of HTML5 games and create a new type of entertainment service.
“While Japan’s game industry is a global leader, there is still potential for growth, and we believe that much of this growth will come from the use of HTML5,” commented Shigenori Araki, CEO of Rakuten Games. “We hope to change the way people view web content and close the gap between web and native apps to become the first HTML5 game platform upon which users from all around the world can interact with each other.”
“Rakuten’s significant web presence and dedicated users make it perfectly positioned to leverage our technology to enter the mobile gaming market completely outside of the traditional app store approach. This is well positioned to be the biggest paradigm shift in recent years in Japan,” said Michael Carter, CEO of Blackstorm Labs Inc. and board director of Rakuten Games.
“Rakuten Games is primed to disrupt the industry,” added Ernestine Fu, independent board director of Rakuten Games. “Rakuten’s huge audience in key monetization demographics, access to IP in Japan, and superior alternative to the app stores make this initiative a game changer!“
*1 HTML5 is the fifth version of the HTML standard for markup language which provides a mobile-friendly way to develop multi-platform, interactive games.
*2 Some games feature in-game purchases.
*3 The IP Opening Project is an initiative carried out by Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. as part of the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the integration of Bandai and Namco with the aim of further expanding the network entertainment business fields. By registering, creators can use the company’s catalog IP (original IP held by the company) of certain titles in derivative works in the digital content field. The titles are for release in Japan only.
Overview of RGames
Service overview: Platform offering HTML5-based free to play*2 online games. Users can use Rakuten Super Points to purchase “Medals,” a virtual currency which can be used to buy items in-game. Login through a Rakuten membership ID is required to purchase Medals and use all the features of the service.
Platform site: https://rgames.jp
• Pac-Run: Pac-Run is a side-scrolling runner game based on the popular Pac-Man series, originally released as an arcade game in 1980 and now available on a wide variety of media ranging from consoles, to mobile games and even cartoons.
• Invader Blast: Invader Blast is a shooting game jointly developed and optimized for the RGames platform with Taito Corporation, based on the Taito’s “Space Invaders” title which became a global hit after its release in 1978.
Features of the platform:
• Social – The platform offers a variety of social functions, such as being able to compete on scores and sending lives to other users registered as followers. In addition, users can also watch replay videos of other users playing the games.
• Shop – Users can purchase Medals, the virtual currency required to make in-game purchases. (Rakuten Super Points can be used to purchase Medals, in addition to carrier payments.)
• Missions – The platform features three different types of “missions” which by completing can earn users Medals, the virtual currency which can be used for in-game purchases and coins.
• Notifications – In the Notifications tab, users can receive notifications when, for example, they clear a mission, a user they are following sends them a life, and view their trophies.
About the RGames Opening Campaign
Details: All new users who register on RGames during the campaign period will receive 50 Medals
Period of the campaign: April 4, 2017 11:00 – May 31, 2017 23:59
Official site: https://rgames.jp
Corporate Communications Department