South Korean MMO developer and publisher NCSoft (Aion, Guild Wars
) has purchased Hotdog Studio, a Seoul-based mobile game studio best known for producing feature phone and smartphone titles such as Dark Shrine
The publisher purchased 58.3 percent of Hotdog Studio's shares to take over control of the developer, which should bolster its smartphone offerings. NCSoft has previously worked on mobile applications like Aion Exchange
, which allows players to manage their Aion
characters, inventories, and auctions from their phones.
NCsoft also intends to include a strong mobile component with its upcoming subscription-free MMO Guild Wars 2
, offering an app for iOS/Android devices and browsers that enables users to chat with others, view real-time maps, and more. The ArenaNet-developed game does not yet have a release date.
Hotdog Studio began in 2007 as the gaming division of HuOne Inc., a "a mobile and embedded system company," and spun off as an independent developer in January 2010. Its titles include games for both features phones and smartphones, like Let's Flair, Tap Tap Shooter 2 in 1,
"We are enhancing our ability in [the] smart phone environment for NCsoft's future," said a representative from the publisher, as reported by ThisIsGame
. "The acquisition is not M&A but a share investment, which is a part of the business expansion we have worked on for a long time."