Japan’s GREE to open mobile game development studio in Vancouver

Japan’s GREE to open mobile game development studio in Vancouver

Japanese mobile social gaming giant GREE has further expanded its presence and production capabilities in North America after it revealed that it will open a development studio in Vancouver, Canada.

The company will move into the 41,000 square foot space in Spring, and it explains that the premises will be used to develop new and unique titles for its global mobile gaming platform, which was released in beta last month. GREE — which posted profits of $307 million in the third quarter of 2012 — expects the first game produced out of Vancouver to be released within six to eight months.

The Canadian studio is GREE’s seventh worldwide, and the company is currently hiring to staff the office. It dominates its domestic market in Japan — alongside rival DeNA — but the expansion will help increase its productivity and US-presence to further rival Zynga and other established Western rivals.

The move to Vancouver comes just under six months after the Japanese firm opened a studio in San Francisco, which was officially announced in February. Steve Lin, GREE’s VP of consumer operations will lead the office, having helped establish the company’s presence in San Francisco.

Commenting on the new studio, and its edgier approach to game development, Lin said:

The goal for the Canadian studio is to merge the knowledge we gained from our recent successes with more experimental approaches. We want to take some risks and come up with new games and ideas that will contribute to the ongoing evolution of the mobile game space. The creative community in Vancouver has made tremendous contributions to the mobile and video game industry and we are looking forward to tapping into that talent pool and building a team of passionate innovators.

Its efforts to beef up its presence in North America saw it buy game development firm Funzio for $210 million, which produced a number of popular Facebook games, in May.

GREE took its first significant step in the region back in 2010, when it bought Openfeint, a global mobile gaming platform, for $109 million.

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