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Sega to invest in local start-up goGame

THE creator of gaming favourites like Sonic the Hedgehog and Virtua Fighter is investing several millions of dollars in a new local start-up that seeks to upend the game publishing industry. The amount was not disclosed.

And through its investment in five-month-old goGame, Japanese gaming giant Sega hopes to capture a bigger slice of the growing mobile gaming market.

Sega Networks, the mobile games division of Sega, and Incubate Fund, an early-stage venture capitalist fund from Japan, were announced on Thursday as the initial investors of Singapore start-up goGame.

With its automated portal, goGame hopes to provide a new, free-to-publish service to game developers that promises to cut costs and time taken for their games to reach the market. This way, it hopes developers can spend more time on designing their games.

For an additional fee, developers can choose to have goGame help market and distribute their games.

Through goGame, developers can then put out their games on "Noah Pass", Sega's marketing platform that has over 100 million users in Japan alone.

The start-up is founded by David Ng, former chief executive of gumi Asia, a game publisher. During his time at gumi, Mr Ng helped bring Japanese games like Brave Frontier to the global gaming community. Brave Frontier went on to become one of the top 10 highest-grossing games last year on the Apple and Google Play app stores.

Minoru Iwaki, chief operating officer of Sega Networks said: "The mobile games market in matured economies like Japan is becoming saturated and increasingly very competitive. We believe the next phase of growth will come from new and developing markets such as South-east Asia where the mobile games business is seeing huge growth opportunities. Through our investment in goGame, we can be part of this next growth curve while helping new game makers launch their original creations to the world."