Cloud gaming pioneer and Rovio Entertainment subsidiary Hatch Entertainment has entered into a strategic partnership with Japan’s leading mobile operator NTT DOCOMO, Inc. in a move to bring the 5G gaming revolution to Japanese consumers in 2020, with DOCOMO’s subsidiary NTT DOCOMO Ventures also making a minority investment in Hatch.
As the first step in the partnership, on Feb. 13 Hatch will be soft launched in Japan for Android phones and also appear automatically on DOCOMO’s Android TV-based set top boxes, with users in Japan offered a free 90-day trial membership of Hatch Premium.
Users in Japan will be able to log in to Hatch through their d ACCOUNT, DOCOMO’s free membership service anybody can sign up for even without a DOCOMO line subscription, while Hatch will cooperate with d POINT CLUB, DOCOMO’s points program for various consumer products and services.
Members of Hatch Premium enjoy unlimited, on-demand access to more than 100 high quality, premium games to play on mobile or TV such as Monument Valley, Space Invaders Infinity Gene and Hitman GO. Furthermore, Premium members will get to play the forthcoming (Spring 2019) Arkanoid Rising, a bold new reimagining of the arcade classic produced in association with Japanese gaming legends TAITO — and the first Hatch Original exclusive to the platform.
Hatch Premium membership also unlocks Hatch Kids, a safe space for kids to play, create and learn in an environment completely free of advertising and in-game purchasing.
EVO Japan eSports collaboration and more
Hatch also aims to work together with DOCOMO on promotional eSports opportunities and expand cooperation with Japan’s extraordinary community of game developers and publishers, bringing more locally produced titles into the service.
To begin with, Hatch and DOCOMO will take part together in EVO Japan 2019, the major eSports event held in Fukuoka Feb. 15-17. EVO Japan visitors will be among the first in Japan to experience Hatch’s live online multiplayer features as part of the service’s Hatch League casual eSports platform.
“Japan is the world’s third largest games market and where the video games industry as we know it was born. In this extremely competitive market we couldn’t be happier to work with a partner like DOCOMO to help take our vision of cloud gaming mainstream,” says Juhani Honkala, Hatch founder and CEO. “DOCOMO’s leading contributions to 5G technology and infrastructure and commitment to amazing new 5G-enabled services make the company an ideal strategic partner in Japan, and we look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration.”
“We are excited to work together with Hatch, a great example of the new type of consumer services, which can bring out its potential towards the 5G era,” says Takanori Ashikawa, Director, Consumer Business Department of DOCOMO. “Hatch’s vision for cloud gaming changes the way people play and discover games, and our shared goal to enrich the everyday lives of our customers makes Hatch an excellent strategic partner for the long term.”
Further terms of the partnership agreement and investment remain confidential to the parties.