Gree, the Japanese mobile social game leader, announced it has acquired developer Funzio Inc. for $210 million in cash. The acquisition is part of Gree’s strategy for growth both in geographic reach and in its library of games.
The strategy seems to be working. Gree in February issued a revised earnings forecast with earnings up by more than 20 percent than its previous forecast (see chart, below).
Funzio specializes in mid-core mobile games, titles for those seeking a more in-depth challenge than the average mobile game. With more than 20 million game downloads and a devoted fan base, Funzio is best known for Crime City, Modern War and Kingdom Age.
Ken Chiu and Anil Dharni, Funzio’s CEO and chief operating officer respectively, will join Gree as senior vice presidents. Chief technology officer Ram Gunavalli and vice president, engineering Andy Keidel will join Gree as vice presidents. They and their team will become part of the San Francisco development studio Gree established in February.
“The team at Funzio is creating some of the best mobile games in the world today. This acquisition allows us to join their talent and expertise with our vision for a mobile social gaming ecosystem.” said Naoki Aoyagi, CEO of Gree International. “We are extremely excited to expand our mid-core portfolio and continue to show how the mobile games market is the inevitable next step for gamers worldwide.”
In separate news, Gree announced exclusive partnerships with social gaming leaders Crowdstar and iWin for the Gree Platform, which following the company’s acquisition of OpenFeint a year ago reaches over 190 million players and offers over 7,500 game applications to users around the world.
Under terms of the deal, Crowdstar will bring the next game in its market-leading Top Girl franchise exclusively to the Gree Platform.
Casual game developer and publisher iWin will be publishing its first two social mobile games exclusively on the Gree platform, titles based on Endemol’s TV game shows Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100 and which already are successful on Facebook.
Gree – press release
Gree – official site
Funzio – official site
CrowdStar – official site
iWin – official site
Endemol USA – official site
VentureBeat – Gree acquires mobile game maker Funzio