Mobile Gaming Company GREE Teams Up with Smartphone Game Developer Mobicle

Smartphone gaming is a fast-growing market today, and it’s exciting to see what gaming company partnerships have in store, particularly co-development between leading companies. Japan’s GREE and Korea’s Mobicle have announced their strategic partnership to co-develop social games for smartphones that will be released first in Japan and, by translating into other languages and launched in other regions, globally in the second quarter of this year.

Battle of Kingdoms is a popular multi-player online game developed by Mobicle

The partnership will leverage both companies’ competitive advantages: GREE’s knowledge and extensive experience in social games, and Mobicle’s technological expertise in real-time simultaneous connections. This has also marked GREE’s second big step in Korean social games market after the company partnered with Korea’s leading carrier SK Telecom serving more than 24 million subscribers (50% market share) in 2011. SK opened a special section within its “T store” offering social gaming titles by GREE. The first app store service in Korea is likewise tagged as the #1 app store in Korea, which currently has around 90,000 applications.

GREE acquired 224,178 shares of Mobicle under this alliance, equivalent to a 6.8% stake. Prior to its partnership with Mobicle, GREE has actually established subsidiaries in Korea in October 2011, as well as Singapore, UK, the Netherlands and Brazil, intended to enhance local business collaborations and provide development support to local gaming developers.

With over 26 million users, GREE was ranked as Japan’s fastest-growing tech company by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in 2010. Very ambitious in doing global expansion, they have likewise acquired popular social gaming service OpenFeint in to enter the global market. In total, these two networks reach more than 140 million players and offer around 7,100 games.