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Booyah, Yumemi bring location-based real-time rewards game to Japan

MyTown users can check-in at real world locations to unlock rewards. The game features marketing promotions with brand partners such as Disney, MTV, The Travel Channel, H&M, Adidas and Proctor & Gamble.

“Japan has been a key strategic territory for Booyah since the launch of the original MyTown,” said Brian Cho, director of business development and marketing at Booyah.

“Mobile-wallet technology such as FeliCa has been available for the past seven years in Japan and next-generation mobile marketing capabilities are far greater,” he said. “We knew that the current product wouldn’t take advantage of the technology and wasn’t the best cultural fit for Japan.

“Rather than launching internally, we wanted to team up with the best technology partner who had proven success in location based marketing and commerce.”

Yumemi specializes in mobile internet development and original content creation.

Booyah, headquartered in San Francisco, is a social Web and mobile entertainment company.

Mobile partnership
MyTown is available for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices.

Both companies believe that the partnership is a big opportunity to expand the location-based game to the Japanese market.

MyTown uses the device’s GPS features and players can buy, upgrade and collect rent on their properties of their favorite real-life places.

The game features more than 35 million branded virtual items that are consumers each week by MyTown residents.

“We see a tremendous global opportunity in mobile, specifically around location and real world redemption,” Mr. Cho said. “As a company primarily focused around creating mobile entertainment that touch the real world, majority of our upcoming slate will focus around location based games with relevant and engaging brand integrations.

“We also feel that the learnings from Japan will be relevant for us as we aim to build products that will leverage NFC, RFID, and QR-codes in the future,” he said.

Future of location
In addition to leveraging their existing marketing technologies, Yumemi also plans on marketing the game through mass transit advertisers, which can garner an incredible amount of impressions in Japan.

Above all, MyTown will aim to be the de-facto location based game in Japan, which will scale rapidly through word-of-mouth user acquisition, per Booyah.

“Our partner Yumemi has a very strong mobile marketing presence in Japan and has worked with major chains such as McDonalds and other CPG partners,” Mr. Cho said. “They also developed a mass mobile message distribution technology in Japan with over 10 million users that can be reached per day.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York