Major Japanese networking provider Gree has revealed that it will be making an investment in Hand, a Sapporo, Japan-based development studio, as a means of further strengthening its social gaming strategy.
Hand was founded in 1992, and is best known for working on Nintendo DS port Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded
and Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon
The company has also released numerous other spinoff titles in the Final Fantasy
series, as well as a Harvest Moon
title for WiiWare. It is currently working on a number of iPhone and Android releases.
As translated by
Andriasang, Gree is planning on making an investment in the company via a stock purchase.
Last month, Gree partnered up
with mig33, a 47 million-user social network for mobile devices in emerging markets, expanding the mig33 community to social games from Japan and other regions. Gree has also previously teamed up with Tencent, one of mig33's Chinese competitors.
Gree also acquired
California-based OpenFeint, which also operates a mobile social gaming platform in the U.S., in a $104 million deal. The firm is set to provide OpenFeint with additional operating capital to accelerate growth, and provide long-term incentives to the platform's team.
Japan has seen a huge social mobile game boost in recent months, most notably with DeNA, a Tokyo-based mobile social gaming network and developer, partnering up with
NTT DoCoMo to make its service available through the Japanese wireless carrier's devices.
DeNA, parent of social game developer Ngmoco, also recently reported
that its sales more than doubled in its fourth quarter ended March 31.