Clara Online helps Japanese games expand into Asia
C. Custer | On September 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm
There are a lot of games on display at TGS, but amidst the multimedia madness I ran across an interesting company called Clara Online that doesn’t make games at all.
This article is part of our coverage of TGS 2013.
Rather, the Japanese company helps Japanese game developers to launch their games throughout Asia, offering access to local partners, local infrastructure, and even localization if needed. Clara has branch offices in several Japanese cities as well as China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore.
Amazingly, Clara has been around for 15 years. Clara rep Kentaro Maruta told me that there was very little interest in this kind of consulting when the company first launched back in the 1990s. It started as “a really tiny company,” Maruta says, but now has around 100 staff members.
Having been very early to the market, Clara seems to have carved out quite a niche for itself, and now helps lots of Japanese developers take their games out into greater Asia. Theirs is the sort of service that is becoming more and more common as Asian developers get more interested in markets outside of their own, but I must say I’m impressed by the gutsy foresight of Clara’s founders at seeing this market as having potential in the late 90s, when the gaming scene in most other Asian countries was still quite underdeveloped. Now there are lots of companies like this, but not everyone saw the opening that early.
(Editing by Paul Bischoff and Josh Horowitz)