Social game maker CrowdStar battles Zynga in Japan with Drecom deal

Japan mobile social network market is becoming a new battleground where American social game companies will slug it out.

Social gaming firm CrowdStar is announcing today it has partnered with Japanese game studio Drecom to publish CrowdStar’s games in Japan. The deal follows Zynga’s alliance with SoftBank to create mobile social games in the $2 billion Japanese market.

CrowdStar launched its first social games in Japan in December. Now, CrowdStar and Drecom have teamed up to launch Happy Aquarium, CrowdStar’s hit game with 11.8 million monthly active users on Facebook, as well as Happy Island. Those games have been posted to Japan’s leading web and mobile social networks, Mixi, Gree and Hangame. CrowdStar is the third-largest social game firm on Facebook.

The partnership will allow CrowdStar to launch games more quickly in Japan, where competition is accelerating. The deal will also allow CrowdStar to tailor games for local preferences, test new game mechanics, and market its games better. Japan has roughly 85 million PC web users and 80 million mobile users. Overall, CrowdStar has more than 50 million users. Drecom has more than 7 million subscribers since launching its first social game in August, 2009. CrowdStar has 90 employees and is profitable. It has not raised any money beyond an initial funding from Peter Relan’s incubator, YouWeb.

Relan will be one of the speakers shedding light on how to get apps noticed at DiscoveryBeat 2010, our conference on Oct. 18 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco.

Tags: Happy Aquarium, Happy Island

Companies: Crowdstar, Drecom, Gree, Hangame, Mixi

People: Peter Relan