Japanese mobile social network GREE has acquired American smartphone mobile social gaming network OpenFeint for $104 million, as part of a process called a triangular merger. GREE says it is Japan’s leading mobile social network with over 25 million users and a market cap of over $3 billion. OpenFeint likewise says it is the largest mobile social gaming network in the US, reaching over 75 million users on the iOS and Android platforms. GREE plans to provide OpenFeint with additional operating capital so help fuel the platform’s growth.
While GREE competitor DeNA bought ngmoco as part of a plan to build a global content platform, GREE doesn’t have similar plans for OpenFeint. Instead GREE plans to cooperate with OpenFeint in creating products tailored for specific local markets. GREE looks at this as a way of going global and has opened a subsidiary in Silicon Valley called GREE International that is technically OpenFeint’s new owner. OpenFeint’s team will remain intact going forward, with founder Jason Citron continuing to act as CEO.
The combined companies plan to open offices in Beijing, Singapore, and London in the future. OpenFeint developed its presence on smartphones over the course of two years, eventually working with over 19,000 developers. The combined GREE and OpenFeint networks will now reach over 100 million mobile users. OpenFeint plans to grow rapidly as a result of the acquisition, with plans to double in size by the end of 2011. OpenFeint is currently integrated into over 5000 games, including top iOS and Android hits like Fruit Ninja and Tiny Wings.
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