Mattel is ramping up its efforts in the mobile gaming space with the creation of a new studio, Mattel163.
The global toy maker has entered into a joint venture with NetEase, a leading global internet technology and video game company to form a new publishing and development studio.
The move is part of Mattel’s new focus on developing a wide variety of digital experiences based on its iconic global brands.
The initiative will kick off with the creation of an UNO mobile game.
"Mobile gaming is growing at a phenomenal pace, and is estimated to generate nearly $58 billion in global revenue by 2018," said Sid Mathur, Mattel executive vice president and chief strategy and development officer.
"By combining NetEase’s leadership in game development and publishing with Mattel’s expansive portfolio of global consumer brands, Mattel163 is poised to build captivating and creative mobile experiences."
A China-based internet technology company, NetEase is recognised as one of the world’s leading mobile game developers. With a global market capitalisation of more than $40 billion, NetEase is ranked among the world’s top earning mobile game publishers.
The company is responsible for developing many of the world’s top-earning mobile gaming franchises, including Fantasy Westward Journey, The Ghost, Onmyoji and Rules of Survival.
"Mattel has been defining the future of learning and play for generations and we are honoured to be participating to create a new world-class publishing and development studio in gaming and education," said Benjamin Ha, corporate vice president at NetEase and CEO of NetEase Capital.
"By combining NetEase’s global footprint and established roots in gaming and education with Mattel’s iconic consumer brands, mattel163 will be able to bring even more creative and innovative gaming and educational experiences to users around the world."
Mattel163’s first title will be based on Mattel’s popular UNO game, now available on Facebook Messenger and coming soon as a mobile app to iOS and Android devices.
UNO will include unique features and fresh modes of play designed to appeal to a worldwide audience. The firm will now seek to create more mobile games and education apps inspired by Mattel brands including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends.