GREE Invests in GeePlus to Enhance Development Capabilities

Japanese mobile and social gaming company GREE has strengthened its development capabilities by acquiring a stake in GeePlus, which is also one of their development partners. In acquiring homegrown talent, the company has recognized GeePlus’ “strong operational capabilities” and the “talented development team.”

Staff members promote at a booth for social networking service Gree Inc. at the Tokyo Game Show in Chiba, east of Tokyo, in this file photo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

With this major investment, GREE now has 49.2% voting rights in GeePlus. The startup actually launched just this month (yes, June!), and is part of Polygon Magic, Inc, a digital entertainment content planning and production company. GeePlus employs 140 developers and other staffers.

Japanese video game developer Polygon is one of the largest studios in Japan, and has developed their apps in various platforms such as arcade, 360, Wii, PS3, PSP Facebook, and Mobage, with GREE itself helping them to develop their first party titles.

With GeePlus now part of the GREE family, the partnership can strengthen its market position in Japan, and become more competitive in the global gaming industry. GREE is likely to continue its expansion by launching offices in other cities across the globe aside from its current holdings in Tokyo, Amsterdam, Beijing, London, San Francisco, Seoul and Singapore.

At present, GREE’s network reaches more than 190 million users worldwide with over 7,500 games. Around 90% of the users access games through their mobile phones. Initially available only at PC, GREE’s service was extended to feature phone users, giving access to blogs, fortune telling, flash games, news, social games, social networking and many more. The company gets its revenues from selling virtual goods for in-game avatars.

Earlier this month, GREE announced a partnership with the entertainment company and game publisher 2K to bring social features within the Sid Meier game series and deliver them onto GREE’s new platform which was introduced in open beta version last month.