Japan's Gree buys US mobile game developer

Japanese mobile social game network buys another U.S.-based mobile game developer as the company aims to grow its game content and user base as well as boost overseas footprint.

Japanese mobile social game network, Gree, has bought U.S.-based mobile game developer, App Ant Studios, for an undisclosed sum in a bid to grow both its game roster and overseas footprint including in the United States.

In a press statement Monday, Gree said the U.S. developer, which is based in the San Franscisco Bay Area, will help expand its game portfolio and reach its goal of 1 billion users worldwide.

The current staff at App Ant Studio will join Gree's San Francisco-based office, including the four founders who will lead the game development and engineering teams, the company added.

"The team at App Ant Studios has continually impressed us with the quality of its engineering, art, and overall product," said Naoki Aoyagi, CEO of Gree International. "With our constantly growing and evolving mobile game market, having such exceptional talent on board to build great experiences for the latest hardware is a huge priority for us."

Gree and App Ant Studios previously worked together to developed Dino Life, an Android game.

The acquistion comes just months after Gree bought U.S. mobile game developer, Funzio, last May in a deal worth US$210 million. Funzio's staff also joined Gree's San Francisco's office. Aoyagi said acquiring Funzio aligned with its vision for the world's largest mobile social games ecosystem.

The other major U.S. company acquisition for Gree was inked in April 2011 when it bought mobile game platform maker, OpenFeint, for US$104 million.

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