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TMCNet:  LINE and gumi Form Strategic Partnership to Engage Mobile Gamers Worldwide

[August 08, 2014]

LINE and gumi Form Strategic Partnership to Engage Mobile Gamers Worldwide

TOKYO --(Business Wire)--

LINE Corporation, owner and operator of the free call and messaging app LINE in Japan, and gumi Inc., a leading developer and publisher of mobile games, today announced that the two companies have agreed to enter into a strategic partnership that includes both distribution and investment capital. With this partnership, millions of LINE users worldwide will be able to play gumi games with friends on iOS and Android (News - Alert) devices. Through this agreement, both companies aim to reinforce their mobile businesses and strive to bring top quality Japanese games to a worldwide audience.

Since LINE GAME launched in November 2012, LINE has accelerated its expansion both in Japan and overseas by offering a robust pipeline of games-both internally and externally developed, along with games co-developed with its various partners-to users worldwide through the LINE platform which reaches 490 million users worldwide. At the same time, gumi has successfully achieved international success through publishing Brave Frontier, which originated in Japan and was developed by gumi's subsidiary Alim Co., Ltd. The game is currently operated in over 50 countries across North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia through gumi's overseas studios, and has become a hit title not only in the Apple Inc.'s App Store and Google (News - Alert) Inc.'s Google Play store in its home markets in Japan, but in multiple countries and regions globally as well.

LINE sees gumi as an ideal strategic partner to accelerate its respective worldwide expansion efforts due to gumi's successes already achieved in developing global hit titles-such as Brave Frontier, Attack of 1942, and Puzzle Bubble-through aggressive investments overseas and ability to adapt to new market challenges. Through this partnership, LINE will invest an amount currently under discussion in exchange for gumi shares via private placement, financially supporting gumi's development of key new titles, which will commence withi the year. gumi is planning to release multiple titles each year for the LINE platform going forward. By combining LINE's significant user base with gumi's strengths in developing games with global potential, both companies strengthen their commitment to providing users worldwide with unrivaled experiences in mobile gaming.


Comments from Jun Masuda, Senior Executive Officer / Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, LINE Corporation:

"gumi has found great success in global markets such as the US, Southeast Asia, and Korea, and is a highly valuable partner even among other top tier Japanese mobile developers. We strongly align with gumi's appetite for global expansion and their network of studios worldwide, and especially, we support their courageous approach in taking on new market challenges. I am personally thrilled to be able to enter into this agreement with gumi to accelerate the bigger picture for both our businesses. LINE will leverage its strengths to reinforce gumi's business in both the Japan and overseas markets, and together we hope to develop and deliver global hit titles."

Comments from Hironao Kunimitsu, CEO, gumi Inc.:

"Market competition in mobile games, and in particular, natively designed games, is escalating rapidly not only in Japan, but also worldwide. To remain relevant, we need to deliver high quality games efficiently, and to as large an audience as possible. LINE has been able to establish one of the world's largest platforms with an extensive user base in both Japan and global markets, and gumi sees it as the optimal partner to reinforce our business. Through this alliance, I am confident that together the two companies can accelerate our global strategy through the distribution of a broad category of titles spanning multiple genres for a worldwide audience. By combining the two brands and our expertise in the development of mobile online games, I am excited to be able to deliver next generation experiences to mobile gamers worldwide."

About gumi, Inc.

Established on June 13th, 2007, gumi Inc. is a top developer and operator of mobile online games, and has distributed more than 40 titles on various platforms including many hit games starting with ??? (Ninkyodo) in 2011. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the company has been growing its presence globally since 2012, with overseas operations in Asia in Singapore, Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and in Western countries in the U.S. and France. Many of gumi's games such as Brave Frontier, created by its subsidiary Alim Co. Ltd., have been published worldwide where they have received top reviews and achieved top sales rankings. From this point forward, gumi aims to become number one in the mobile entertainment content industry by offering a nonstop stream of quality content for all to enjoy.

About LINE Corp.

LINE Corporation is based in Japan and develops and operates the LINE app for smartphones. Since launching in June 2011, the LINE app has grown into a global service used in 230 countries, ranking first in the free app category in 60 countries. LINE offers free one-toone and group messaging, as well as free domestic and international voice and video calls. LINE also includes a wide array of social elements such as fun and expressive stickers, a personal Home, a Timeline (News - Alert), and numerous LINE family apps, including LINE games and LINE camera. For more information about LINE, please visit http://linecorp.com/en/.


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