* Agreement is for one game, "Age of Empires"
* Microsoft seeking to leverage software assets
* Shares in KLab overwhelmed by buy orders
By Malathi Nayak and Tim Kelly
SAN FRANCISCO/TOKYO, June 24 Microsoft Corp
will offer its popular "Age of Empires" game for Apple
Inc's iPhone and other smartphones through a tie-up
with Japan's KLab Inc, seeking to capture growth in a
booming mobile game market.
Microsoft's gaming business is dependent primarily on its
Xbox franchise but mobile devices have been eating into the
gaming industry, luring consumers away from traditional
While the tech giant has released a few mobile games for iOS
and Android like Wordament, "Age of Empires" is its most popular
game to date to be offered beyond its own consoles.
The strategy is one that analysts argue other game machine
makers such as Mario Brothers creator Nintendo Co Ltd
could consider in a bid to leverage their software assets.
KLab will develop a mobile version of "Age of Empires" which
will be released before the end of March, a KLab spokesperson
Shares in KLab were overwhelmed by a glut of buy orders in
Tokyo trade on Tuesday, with its price indicated at 972 yen, 18
percent higher than its last close.
Contrary to an earlier report, the agreement is only to
develop a mobile version of "Age of Empires" and there were no
announcements on other titles, the two companies said.
The historical strategy game will be released worldwide in
English for iPhones and Andriod-based phones, "with plans to
release the game in other languages and on a Windows Phone in
the future," a Microsoft spokesperson said.