One Korean developer has been riding the wave of popularity of the chat app KakaoTalk in the country, which now has a Game Center, pushing its Anipang game to the top of the Google Play free game chart this weekend.
Anipang is a cutesy, Bejeweled-like puzzler created by the South Korean startup developers SundayToZ. The studio started in social games in 2009, but only switched to mobile in March of this year with the launch of Aqua Story. SundayToZ’s biz dev VP, Angus Lau, tells us that Anipang is “approaching two million installs” already, despite only being launched on July 30th - the same day that the KakaoTalk Game Center went live in Korea. Already the game has hit one million daily active users (DAU) and is the second-highest grossing game at present on the local version of Google Play. That’s thanks to a host of in-app purchase options. It also helps that Anipang is a familiar title from the company’s browser-based game of the same name on Cyworld.
SundayToZ is currently focusing on Android, but Angus tells us that it’ll branch out into iOS pretty soon, “[We’ll be] offering translated versions of Aqua Story in Asian languages including Japanese and both traditional and simplified Chinese.” Anipang will get to join in the expansion fun too:
Anipang, although only available in Korea now, [we] have plans to launch outside of Korea, in markets that have heavy KakaoTalk usage. We will also release iOS versions in the coming months for the two mobile titles as well as other titles towards the end of this year.
SundayToZ is backed by Softbank Ventures Korea and Walden International, and at the moment, Angus explains, “There are 28 members on the team, mostly made up of programmers and designers.”
It makes sense to be looking into iOS, as the KakaoTalk Game Center app will soon launch on that platform after initially debuting only on Android. When we last talked to KakaoTalk we were told that the messaging app now has 24 million DAUs, and that 90 percent of smartphone users in Korea are now signed up with the app.
Anipang is still restricted to download in South Korea right now. It’s here in the Google Play store.