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Japanese social game giant Gree opens SF area dev studio

Japanese mobile social game developer and network operator Gree is preparing to move is U.S. headquarters and a newly-opened development studio to a new San Francisco location.
Japanese mobile social game developer and network operator Gree is preparing to move is U.S. headquarters and a newly-opened dev studio to a new San Francisco location This office and studio, located in the city's China Basin district, will serve as the company's launching pad for the planned fourth quarter release of its global mobile social games platform. Called Gree Platform, the service integrates Gree's existing network with that of its recent acquiree, California-based OpenFeint. Gree's existing Japanese mobile service is one of the largest in the world, claiming 190 million registered users. It expects to generate a record $2.1-$2.5 billion in sales for the fiscal year (ending June 2012) thanks to the platform, and $577.4-$656.1 million in profit. The company offers more than 7,500 games from over 20,000 partner developers and its internal studios on its existing self-titled platform. It has nine international offices, including the San Francisco arm and branches in London, Beijing, Sao Paulo, Seoul, and Dubai. As the San Francisco office builds relationships with local developers and publishers ahead of Gree Platform's launch, its new development studio will create free-to-play games aimed at the international market, starting with two titles that will release next month. Gree's senior vice president of social games Eiji Araki leads the studio, which will join the office's move into a 41,000 sq. ft. space this spring. Araki intends to significantly expand the team -- the office expects to double its headcount by the end of the year.

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