Looks like Viber decided to surprise its customers. After an agitated year, the message app has been acquired by Japan’s Rakuten for 900 million dollars. This transition has been finished in February 2014, after Facebook bought WhatsApp. And now, the mobile messaging company is starting to make its first moves. They launched a social games platform, available in five countries.
We are talking about a launch of an initial three games and they are available for Android users and iOS in five countries: Israel, Belarus, Singapore, Ukraine and Malaysia. The message app is planning to roll them out this month, to all Viber users worldwide. Talmon Marco, the founder of Viber, has promised that they will introduce games before the end of 2014 and looks like he kept his promise.
Like other gaming platforms, Viber will allow users to tap their social graps and send lives or gifts to friends, challenge friends, check social-powered game leaderboards, share their scores, battle friends, and plenty other interesting things. Viber will also make some money from any virtual life or item bought inside the games, beside the cut that Google and Apple take on iOS and Android.
The main game developer partners are Playtika, which developed the Wild Luck Casino and Storm8, the creators of Viber Pop and Viber Candy Mania. The characters used in the game are the same that you have in Viber’s sticker collections. Rumors are revealing that the messaging app followed the example of Korea’s Kakao Talk, which became quite profitable after they launched a game platform. Another example is Japan’s Line, which has come out with a profit of 192 million dollars in Q3 2014 revenue, and all thanks to games.
Talmon Marco has declared: “We will partner with other game developers in the future, but our approach is not to have hundreds of games, just small highly curated selection.” For those who are not interested in these games, he claimed that “Viber will stay exactly how it is for you… but the games are a lot of fun.”