GREE acquires US hardcore social publisher Funzio for $210 million

Set to support firm's global mobile platform

GREE acquires US hardcore social publisher Funzio for $210 million

Last we heard back in April, US outfit Funzio was the hunt for additional funding, keen to boost its resources in a mobile social gaming scene increasingly dominated by the likes of DeNA, Zynga and GREE.

Now, the company has been acquired by one of those Japanese social gaming powerhouse for $210 million (terms haven't been revealed), with GREE looking to strengthen its role in western markets ahead of the launch of its global mobile platform.

No soft purchase

Funzio is pitched by many as a 'hardcore' social games publisher, traditionally aiming its titles at teen boys.

It's not been prolific on mobile, though, with only three games - Crime City, Modern War and Kingdom Age - out on iOS, and just one - Crime City - on Android.

It raised $20 million a year ago, and based in downtown San Francisco has over 130 staff.

However, with execs from EA and Storm8, and all its games in the top grossing US charts, for GREE it apparently represents an opportunity to deliver "cutting-edge content" for its platform, with the firm claiming its new purchase has been responsible for "some of the best mobile games in the world today."

"This acquisition allows us to join their talent and expertise with our vision for a mobile social gaming ecosystem," said GREE CEO Naoki Aoyagi.

"We are extremely excited to expand our mid-core portfolio and continue to show how the mobile games market is the inevitable next step for gamers worldwide."

Almighty match

According to Funzio founder and CEO Ken Chiu, GREE represents the ideal partner for the publisher, given both parties "share a vision of a mobile world where people can play together wherever and whenever they are."

"We feel strongly that our experience in creating unique games for the mid-core market and GREE's expertise in bringing the mobile games to the worldwide community is a perfect match," he added.

Funzio's future role will be to help GREE reach its target of 1 billion worldwide users, with its library now bound for the Japanese company's 'seamless' mobile global gaming platform, due to launch in Q2 2012.

The acquisition follows GREE's decision to set up its first games development studio in North America, with the San Francisco outfit having delivered Zombie Jombie and Alien Family on iOS, as well as Dino Life on Android.

Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.