Kyoto-based game developer Ponos recently unveiled version 2.0 of its successful tower defense game Battle Cats, which has over 6.5 million downloads to date. The updated version includes a new chapter that you can play as well as a few additional character upgrades.
But perhaps even more interesting than the upgrade is how the company is going about promoting the game recently. In order to give Battle Cats a boost in its home market (where it is known as Nyanko Taisen), Ponus recently announced that its has partnered with none other than the nation’s largest web portal Yahoo Japan in an effort to promote the title better among mobile users.
Now when anyone searches for the term Nyanko on the mobile version of Yahoo Japan, cute Battle Cats will invade your search results screen, presenting you with a fun Nyanko theme (see below), and occasional cat food offers (the currency in the game). Given the popularity of Yahoo Japan as a web destination, this should certainly help give the game a much needed boost, since its downloads appear to have plateaued.
And now the bad news.
If you’re a fan of Battle Cats who does not live in Japan, don’t delete or try to upgrade your app. It looks as though Ponos has stopped providing the previously available English version of the game after the 2.0 upgrade. I’ve reached out to the company to find out more, and I’ll let you know if they provide any rationale for this, or if a re-release is upcoming.