• Kyodo

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Major Japanese game software developers are stepping up forays into Asian markets, aiming to capitalize on the increasing number of smartphone users in areas where economies are growing.

Capcom Co., based in Osaka, set up a base in Taiwan in July to develop software with an eye toward expanding to Southeast Asia in the future, while Tokyo-based Konami Digital Entertainment Co. has begun offering online social game services in South Korea.

Japanese game companies have had trouble promoting sales of their official software in parts of Asia where pirated copies are widely available due to insufficient protection of intellectual property rights.

But with sharp increases in the use of Apple Inc.’s iPhone and other smartphones in the growing markets, it has become possible for game software makers to provide their services and collect fees online.

Capcom has mainly offered software for home-use game consoles, but its new base in Taiwan is developing online software for smartphones and personal computers, according to company officials.

It plans to deliver English versions of the popular game “Biohazard” and other software in Indonesia and Thailand and later in the Philippines and India.

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