Cryptologic's investment in online mahjong gaming software company Mahjong Time could bring some solid rewards following an agreement signed this week between the mahjong software provider and its second licensee, the Chinese online entertainment provider Ai Media.
In terms of the agreement Mahjong Time will soft launch an online Ai Mahjong operation at the end of this (September) month. The site will offer tournament style four player mahjong specifically designed for the Chinese marketplace.
Ai Media spokesmen said that the company and its strategic partner have an important strategic advantage - it offers its own payment solution via a proprietary 'smart card'. Several major banks in China, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and China Merchants Bank, accept the card, which is used by over 11 million people and is currently attracting approximately 20 000 new daily subscribers.
Ai Media publishes and operates games from overseas game developers in China, and distributes those games to more than 50 percent of the Internet cafes in China. The company and its partners have nationwide access to the Chinese market and hold all the necessary licenses required for legal games operation in China. Ai Media has nationwide marketing/sales , customer support, and dedicated data centres in all major Chinese cities and is licensing Mahjong Time software for use as the game platform and engine for an Ai Mahjong brand.
"Ai Media has been investing in the China online entertainment space for many years," said Olivia Hollaus, Director of Ai Media Group. "We have to be extremely careful in selecting the best games for the largest and most competitive market in the world. It is extremely expensive to market and launch a successful game and it takes years to capture and build a loyal customer base. That is why we have partnered with Mahjong Time, a proven company that provided us with a secure mahjong game that will appeal to the massive Chinese marketplace."
William Sutjiadi, CEO of Mahjong Time said: "Our unique partnership with Ai Media demonstrates Mahjong Time's commitment to working with companies who offer value and vision, and to delivering the best software solutions to our customers. Our in-browser mahjong game offers Ai Mahjong players a secure and customizable destination to fully enjoy the most popular game in the world."