$2.5 MILLION ONLINE MAHJONG INVESTMENT BY CRYPTOLOGIC
Another step in Internet gambling provider's move into Asia
CryptoLogic Limited continued its advance into the Asian market this week by making a strategic investment in Mahjong Time, an innovative provider of online Mahjong software and turnkey solutions.
"Mahjong is a game with an ancient history in China, and a following of well over 600 million worldwide," said Brian Hadfield, CryptoLogic's President and CEO, adding that his company is skilled in taking popular pastimes and turning them into online entertainment, and intends to continue working in Asia with partners who share that vision.
In a deal that is expected to close within the next 30 days, CryptoLogic has agreed to invest up to $2.5 million for a significant minority equity stake in Mahjong Time, subject to certain performance thresholds and milestones.
The Asian company has a patented platform created and managed by a team with in-depth Mahjong experience, and earns revenue by licensing its software to gaming operators, who attract business through tournaments, subscriptions, "pay-for-play" models and in-game advertising. Mahjong Time also earns revenue from its own site, MahjongTime.com.
Mahjong Time has a number of unique advantages for operators, claims Hadfield, including more rulesets than any other provider, multiple language versions of its software and advanced gaming features (such as play, watch and archive modes). Players benefit from a secure and robust environment featuring no-download software that supports both subscription and tournament play, as well as a practice mode that teaches the game to newcomers.
Players from 136 countries enjoy social networking through advanced community features at Mahjong Time such as an advanced avatar shop, personalisation engine, friends list, rated competitions and a patented visual "belt" rating and ranking system – all of which are keys to Web 2.0 success in gaming.
Mahjong Time is the official online partner of the North American Mahjong Federation, the European Mahjong Association and national associations in ten European countries, and has developed a unique, officially-certified rating system (MORSE) for use in online tournaments.
The company is also the exclusive online software and platform provider for the World Series of Mahjong, the biggest prize money tournament in the history of the game. Global TV coverage of the WSOM over the next three years will provide a platform to reach millions of enthusiasts across Asia and beyond.
"As a game, Mahjong is about both strategy and community, and that's the approach we have taken to building our software and our business," said William Sutjiadi, CEO of Mahjong Time. "CryptoLogic knows great innovation and great software, and together we will build a business with huge global potential."