Initially, the two companies will collaborate to launch a subscription-based, network-aware game under the Bassmaster Mobile moniker. Additional products and services will be added to build a more robust Bassmaster Mobile community. Potential future offerings include images, wallpapers, ringtones, video, camera applications, tips from the pros and Short Messaging Service(SMS)/Multimedia Messaging Service(MMS) applications.
"Dwango is delighted to be working with ESPN," said Rick Hennessey, chief executive officer of Dwango North America. "Our team has developed best-of-breed content, and we're looking forward to the launch of the Bassmaster Mobile title as well as to continued collaboration with ESPN in creating compelling mobile entertainment."
Added Manish Jha, senior vice president and general manager, emerging media and data services, ESPN, "ESPN Wireless will serve the BASS member and passionate fishing fans with any-time, any-place access to exciting entertainment, information and community under the Bassmaster brand. We are pleased to offer outdoor enthusiasts and fishing fans yet another exciting way to use technology to enhance their connection with BASS."
The first Bassmaster Mobile game, Legendary Lunkers, will feature the Cast 'n Wait system, a mobile gameplay breakthrough - which emulates real fishing by surprising the player with a call back when a fish is biting. Whether competing against the top online scores or fishing in the recreational mode, virtual anglers will be challenged by actual Bassmaster tournament locales and real-time weather conditions. Bassmaster Mobile offers the definitive fishing experience for mobile games.
The game is expected to be available late in the second quarter, while further community elements for Bassmaster Mobile will continue to be developed for later release. The two companies will utilize Dwango's infrastructure, carrier relationships and media development to effectively extend the BASS and ESPN brands to fishing fans and mobile phone users. Pre-load agreements with carriers and handset manufacturers will begin in the near term.
About Dwango North America
Dwango North America, develops and publishes wireless applications and technology for users of next-generation mobile devices. Dwango North America has an exclusive North American license for all of Dwango Co. Ltd. of Japan's current and future wireless intellectual property. Dwango Japan is a leading entertainment content and network technology provider for NTT DoCoMo's i-modeTM service, the largest wireless data service in the world. Dwango North America Inc. is capitalizing on Dwango Co. Ltd's expertise and experience as a leader in the Japanese ring tone, media and mobile games market to build similar offerings for the rapidly growing North American market. Dwango North America corporate information can be found at www.dwango.com or call 206.286.1440.
BASS is the world's largest fishing organization with more than 500,000 members and sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. This April, BASS introduces the all-new Bassmaster Elite 50 Series, a four-event, no-entry-fee circuit featuring a $1.6 million prize purse for the world's best anglers. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass-fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968. BASS is a wholey owned subsidiary of ESPN.