Japanese mobile social gaming network Gree has acquired California-based OpenFeint, which also operates a mobile social gaming platform in the U.S., in a $104 million deal.
Gree purchased OpenFeint's outstanding stock for $104 million through a triangular merger set up with a new Silicon Valley subsidiary, Gree International. The firm will provide OpenFeint with additional operating capital to accelerate growth, and provide long-term incentives to the platform's team.
OpenFeint integrates cross-platform community features -- leaderboards, achievements, profiles, invites, friends lists, and more -- into more than 5,000 mobile games in North America, including hits like Fruit Ninja and Tiny Wings.
Gree is one of the largest mobile social gaming platforms in Japan with over 25 million registered users and a market capitalization of $3 billion. Adding OpenFeint's 75 million users on iOS/Android, the Japanese company now reaches some 100 million users around the world.
OpenFeint's team and CEO Jason Citron will remain at the developer, and plan to double its staff in 2011. It also intends to expand internationally with Gree, opening offices in Beijing, Singapore, and London soon.
The two companies seek to "build a global ecosystem of distribution channels for game developers." They will not, however, build a uniform gaming network for all consumers worldwide, and will aim to instead create "tailored products for specific markets."
"At GREE, we are socializing the next evolution of games and, as the best-in-class US-based mobile social network, OpenFeint is the ideal partner for us to offer the best mobile social games to the largest global audience," says Gree CEO Yoshikazu Tanaka.