GREE chooses to focus on the US market.
Gree is planning to close down its mobile social games network OpenFeint on December 14, only eighteen months after it acquired the company and service for $104 million. All player data and game information will be lost after the shutdown date, and Gree is encouraging developers to update their titles and move them on to the Gree mobile platform instead.
Social and mobile game developer and publisher Gree has launched a new competition intended to help support independent game developers by offering up its expertise and resources to the winning developer each month.
Yoshikazu Tanaka, CEO of Japanese mobile game company Gree, is to give the keynote address at the Tokyo Game Show later this month.
Andriasang reports that Tanaka will take the stage for the second year in a row to give a speech titled The Evolution Of Social Gaming Brought On By Smart Devices. The Gree CEO – Japan’s youngest self-made billionaire – also spoke last year, but was one of three keynote speakers.
From Snake through to Song Pop, Glu has been in the mobile game business for 11 years. But even after iPhone gave the company a huge new market, Glu was in serious trouble before Niccolo de Masi was appointed president and CEO in early 2010. “We were a company that was going to run out of money inside a year,” he tells us. “My predecessor made a number of big, bold acquisitions that used up all of the IPO cash. And those didn't work out.”
Videogames are no longer the passive end product of several years’ toil. MMOG subscriptions popularised the idea of games as services, and more recently companies like Zynga and Gree have taken that idea one step further. Data is king, and games can be tinkered with throughout their lifespan to suit player behaviour.
Gree’s aspirations should be considered more in the context of a Google or Facebook than Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo. Traditionally, the gaming press has totted up console userbases in the millions; Gree has publicly stated it wants to attract one billion players to its mobile platform. A bold claim, certainly, but one that’s closer than one might expect, says Gree’s vice president of EMEA developer relations Kyoko Matsushita.
The consumer has spoken on free-to-play, and developers and publishers must embrace this new business model or risk being left behind, according to Japanese mobile gaming company Gree.Speaking at a UKIE-backed event last week, David McCarthy from Gree UK’s EMEA developer relations team also praised the greater degree of control developers can get from operating in the social mobile space.
Now in his mid-30s, Yoshikazu Tanaka is the youngest self-made billionaire in Asia, and the world’s second-youngest after Mark Zuckerberg. In fact, you can be forgiven for likening him with Facebook’s founder. Not just because he sports similar couture: black Crocs, white socks, ripped blue jeans, a white T-shirt and a black zip-up hoodie, but because they’ve also both made their fortunes (Tanaka’s worth an estimated $4.3 billion) founding social networks.
The 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo kicks off next week, running from June 5 to 7 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. As always, we'll have extensive, in-depth coverage of the conference and all the big announcements, but in the meantime here's our guide to some of the highlights we're expecting from the biggest event on the videogame calendar. All times are BST.