Founded in 2010 and named after “Blue” for Technology and “Ark” for Noah’s Ark in the Book of Genesis, BlueArk envisioned to become Asia’s no. 1 vessel for mobile platform that serves the global audience. As a starting point, we embarked on a daring adventure with a group of pioneering online game developers on board to take the idea of gamification and apply it to not just games, but to other fields like education and entertainment.
One of Peter Thiel’s sources shared that he invested in Facebook only after he witnessed the initial success of Cyworld, one of the most successful social networks in the world before Facebook. This was a proof that Korea has so much potential owing to its innovation-technology-monetization mix, even more advanced and ahead than Silicon Valley. However, no Korean companies such as Daum Kakao and Naver have established global presence in the platform business. And so we wondered: Can a startup like us build a global mobile platform?
Opportunity & Strategy: Global Mobile Platform
Our initial focus was on building strategic partnerships with global media and entertainment companies to secure rights for the use of their mass-appeal properties. With a paradigm shift in media consumption trends from print to digital that started in the early 2000s, we knew that the media giants would soon yield opportunities to companies that could transfer their existing properties into the digital space. We also knew that we had exceptional technology, development expertise, and service operations know-hows, and that our working with mass-appeal properties will create a great synergy to attract and build a sustainable global service for worldwide user base.
Ambition #1: Global Mobile Game Platform – SpongeBob Game Station
In partnership with Nickelodeon, BlueArk decided to bring to life one of the most beloved characters in the world, SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends, in a first-time ever Game Station format. Our goal was to build a digital destination for millions of SpongeBob SquarePants fans all over the world. With our mobile game hub, SpongeBob Game Station, we sought to offer a full spectrum of games within a single app ranging from casual ones to eventually midcore and hardcore genres. With our advanced technology, we were able to create a platform that houses a series of games within. SpongeBob SquarePants has been Nickelodeon’s top brand generating multi-billion annual sales and 100 million monthly viewers worldwide.
Ambition #2: Children’s Mobile Learning Platform – Dora’s English Adventure & Learn with Dora
This project was born when Andy, BlueArk’s CEO, realized that there was a void in “right” educational content in the mobile space. As a father of a 3 year-old girl, he saw that there weren’t any mobile services that were credible and effective. In order to solve this problem, BlueArk has entered into a partnership with Nickelodeon to create a mobile edutainment service based on Dora the Explorer, one of the most globally recognized and widely distributed multimedia entertainment brands for kids and family. The Learn with Dora app series were created to provide age-appropriate educational programming which drives integral development in preschoolers in key areas by taking children to explore and learn on their own, at their own pace with their beloved and trusted friend, Dora. It has always been our ambition to democratize education in the mobile space through offering learning experience for children that is accessible, affordable and effective.
Ambition #3: Personal Music Media Platform
We’ve always believed that human talents know no bounds and been determined to shed light on thousands of people all over the world with so much to give but without a proper stage. BlueArk began to help solve this dilemma by creating a tool that allows people to create audiovisual content for free and easily share. Then, by making our service global, we wanted to help these amateur artists get even more exposure. Therefore with our first app, Eighteen, anyone could sing and record with licensed music tracks and publish their performance simply using their fingertips. To go beyond just being a music service provider, BlueArk has entered into a partnership with Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment, a leading UK and US celebrity management company with top celebrities such as David Beckham and Jennifer Lopez under management. Working with one of the most influential people in the western entertainment business, BlueArk obtained an unique opportunity to penetrate the music industry and utilize its star power and aspire to create a mobile media platform that bridges the cultures of the East and the West.