GREE beefs up its US development team after buying App Ant Studios

GREE beefs up its US development team after buying App Ant Studios

Japanese mobile social gaming giant GREE has continued to beef up its development team in the US after announcing that it has picked up Bay Area-based App Ant Studios on undisclosed terms.

The two companies are well known to each other, having teamed up to develop Dino Life — which is notable as GREE’s first Android-only title — and the App Ant team will be added to the Japanese firm’s recently opened San Francisco-based studio. GREE notes that the studio’s four founders are all staying on to assume ‘leadership roles’ within its game development and engineering teams.

“The team at App Ant Studios has continually impressed us with the quality of its engineering, art, and overall product. They share the same strong passion GREE has for mobile social gaming and we genuinely respect their dedication to evolving the gaming industry, ” said Naoki Aoyagi, GREE International CEO.

The acquisition is a further step towards producing more US-focused content for GREE’s mobile gaming social network, but the new hires will also help the Japanese firm develop content for users the world over.

GREE has been pretty active this year, and the App Ant Studios deal is yet another example of it picking up talent in the US and boosting its potential to develop content out of the country. It forked out $210 million to buy game publisher and developer Funzio in May, while lower key moves saw it buy Korean developer Paprika Labs, make plans for a development studio in Vancouver (and San Francisco) and open an office in London.

Its US plans are beginning to take shape and, thanks mainly to Funzio — best known for Facebook games and titles like Crime City and Modern War — US revenues are trickling in. The firm recently revealed that its American business hit $16.87 million in second quarter revenues, that’s up 38 percent on the previous quarter’s $12.15 million – albeit that those figures included Funzio revenue pre-acquisition.

The company has ambitions to reach 1 billion users worldwide — something even Facebook is yet to do — and its global focus goes beyond the US, and thus we can expect more news and, likely, acquisitions worldwide.

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