Press Releases 2003

Launch by SOFTBANK Group of Japan’s Largest Online Game Portal: Basic Tie-up Agreement with 110 Japanese and Korean Game Makers Offering 200 TitlesOnline Game Event on 25 July Will Bring Together Japanese and Korean Online Games under One Roof

Jul. 3, 2003

Two SOFTBANK Group companies [Group representative: Masayoshi Son; SOFTBANK BB Corp. and BB Serve Inc. (see corporate profiles below)] are pleased to announce that we have agreed to offer an online game portal site service. BB Serve Inc., which will develop and operate the site, is aiming for a 25 July launch of “BB Games” and will start providing the facilities needed to operate the online game contents and commence promotion of online games.

BB Serve yesterday signed a basic tie-up agreement with 80 Korean online game makers to offer 150 titles. The company has also reached basic agreement for “BB Games” to provide 50 titles from 30 Japanese online game makers including GungHo Online Entertainment,Inc. and NC Japan K.K.. BB Serve is set to provide over 100 titles by the end of this year and 300 titles by the end of next year on its “BB Games” portal site. By registering member information “BB Games” users can already trial free of charge for a set period of time*1 leading online games for which commercial service has commenced and also access the latest comprehensive online games information being provided by “BB Games”. Users can easily log in to a variety of online games from the portal site through a single log in,*2 which will dramatically improve convenience of use.

Through this “BB Games” online game portal BB Serve will work with SOFTBANK BB Corp., which offers the comprehensive broadband service “Yahoo! BB”, and Yahoo Japan Corporation to promote online game contents and to offer various services limited to “Yahoo BB” members.

BB Serve gained the full cooperation of the Korea Game Development & Promotion Institute in reaching basic agreement with 80 Korean online game makers offering 150 titles to participate in “BB Games”. “BB Games” will offer support to Korean game content makers and the venture is part of a program to develop Japan’s online games market and to assist Korean game contents makers enter the Japanese market (Korea Online game Japan Entry Program).

Advantages for Online Game Makers

Through promotions at the portal site traffic can be carefully guided to each game. By using BB Serve’s hosting service, charging system and settlement service, companies can avoid bearing huge costs and more easily enter the online game market. Even existing online game makers can receive online game user trend analysis reports and can use “BB Games” as a marketing promotions tool to communicate to Yahoo! BB users.

Advantages for “Yahoo BB” Members

Plans are in place for free-of-charge online game trials and advance beta test services limited to Yahoo! BB members. The periods of such services will differ depending on the online game.

Beta Test Portal “G-CIA” Linked to “BB Games”

“BB Games” will link up with a separately established online game beta test portal site, “G-CIA”, to offer an independent service. This will be a dedicated closed beta test portal that tests online games prior to general public beta tests (open beta tests). By using “G-CIA” game makers can drastically reduce the heavy burden of infrastructure investment costs and operation costs during testing, and game developers can also receive a service providing systematic feedback on analysis of beta test evaluations. “BB Games” will intensively promote games that receive high evaluations at this site and are judged to offer attractive games content.

“G-CIA” has a tie-up with “CROCESS”*3, the beta test portal operated in Korea by the Korea Game Development & Promotion Institute, to receive know-how on beta test portal operation. BB Serve will be responsible for providing servers and Techno Groove Inc. (President: Nichiei Ryu), an online contents incubation company, will be responsible for operating the closed beta tests.

“Online Game Fantasista”: An Online Games Event to Commemorate the Opening of “BB Games”

To commemorate the opening of “BB Games” the SOFTBANK Group will hold “Online Game Fantasista” at Tokyo International Forum on Friday, 25 July. This event, sponsored by “BB Games” with the support of SOFTBANK BB Corp. will bring together Japanese and Korean online games under one roof and will offer a wide range of users the opportunity to enter the site free of charge and enjoy online games. A booth will be set up to allow visitors free-of-charge advance trials of over 50 fascinating online game titles from Japanese and Korean online game makers who were party to the basic agreement. Prominent entertainment personalities will be invited as guests and the event will also offer the opportunity to enjoy many online games not yet released in Japan.

[Note]
  • *Pre-registration for Online Game Portal “BB Games”

Online games are games that allow a large number of random users separated geographically to enjoy a game real time through the Internet. A major feature of these games is that they allow games to be played with multiple players simultaneously. In Korea over 5 million users play Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) such as the popular “Lineage”. These online games have gained a cult following among players in Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong,

The SOFTBANK Group aims to continue to lead the broadband market and, in expectation of the assured development of online games content, to grow better quality contents business and to expand services to Yahoo! BB members. The SOFTBANK Group wishes to make a social contribution by providing innovative broadband telecommunications infrastructure and services that enrich the means of human communication.

[Notes]
  • *1The set free-of-charge usage time differs depending on the game title.
  • *2Single login: Since users can easily log in to a variety of online games with one ID, charges can be settled through one account.
  • *3www.crocess.com
  • *Company names, logo marks, product names and service names are trademarks or registered trademarks.

Company Profiles

SOFTBANK BB Corp.

Trade name SOFTBANK BB Corp.
Head office 24-1 Nihonbashi Hakozaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Representative President and CEO: Masayoshi Son
Date of Establishment May 16, 2000
Date of merger January 7, 2003
Type of Business
  • The Company engages in the provision of broadband infrastructure and services centering on Yahoo! BB as well as in technical development, marketing, sales and support.
  • The Company offers IT-related distribution and services and supervises and administers affiliated broadband and e-commerce companies.

BB Serve Inc.

Head office address 1-16 Kanda-Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative President Taizo Son
Capital 35 million yen
Founded December 2002
Ownership SOFTBANK BB Corp., Asian Groove, Inc.

Reference

Techno Groove Inc. (www.technogroove.com )

Head office address 1-16 Kanda-Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative President Nichiei Ryu
Capital 10 million yen
Founded June 2002
  • Releases, announcements, presentations and other information available from this page and elsewhere on this website were prepared based on information available and views held at the time of preparation and speak only as of the respective dates on which they are filed or used by SoftBank Group Corp. or the applicable group company, as the case may be. Such information is subject to change and may become out-of-date. Such information may also contain forward-looking statements which are by their nature subject to various risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and future developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Please read legal notices in its entirety prior to viewing any information available on this website.