Gree spends $173M to snatch up mobile card game dev
Gree has made another nine-digit acquisition for a mobile social game studio, Pokelabo, which just released a card battle game that could be seen as a competitor to DeNA's successful Rage of Bahamut
Card battling games have become huge in the mobile social space, with companies like DeNA and Konami (Dragon Collection
) raking in plenty of cash with their free-to-play titles. Gree's own card battle title Zombie Jombie
has helped generate a lot of money for the company, too.
The Japanese mobile social network operator and developer aims to capitalize on the genre's popularity, and has made it a priority to release more card battle games in both the West and Asia this fiscal year (ending June 2013). Its ¥13.8 billion ($172.8 million) acquisition of Tokyo-based Pokelabo will help Gree meet that goal.
Founded in 2007 and employing 88 workers, Pokelabo has released a number of card battle games for smartphones in Japan, including most recently Mystic Monsters
. It previously partnered with Aeria Games to release localized versions of its titles to the West.
Gree has made a lot of efforts to scale up its development capabilities this year, opening new studios in San Francisco
-- and just five months ago, it shelled out $210 million
to acquire San Francisco-based developer Funzio (Modern War