DeNA buys Chilean mobile game firm Atakama Labs

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(VentureBeat) October 4, 2011 – Continuing its acquisition spree, Japan’s DeNA agreed to buy Chilean mobile social game firm Atakama Labs. The companies didn’t disclose the prize, but we heard a couple of months ago that the deal was valued at around $6 million during negotiations. We don’t know what the actual price turned out to be. [Atakama Labs previously received funding from two Chilean venture capital funds, Austral Capital and COPEC-UC.]

The deal shows that the mobile game sector continues to be a hot one as social and smartphone games take over from traditional feature phone gaming.

Atakama Labs was founded by Esteban Sosnik and Tiburcio de la Carcova, two Argentines who crossed the Andes and settled in Santiago, Chile, in search of more political and economic stability.

Under DeNA, Atakama will provide support for subsidiary Ngmoco, which is creating the Mobage mobile social network.

Recent articles have noted that Chile has an attractive climate for startups, and this deal will likely fuel that perception. DeNA became a billion-dollar company based on its success with mobile social games in Japan. It now has more than 400 employees and is trying to become a worldwide smartphone and tablet gaming powerhouse.