There’s interesting news from GREE (TYO:3632) today, as the social gaming giant issued an announcement that it is expanding its US games business via a new mobile investment fund. But the company also explains that there will be some adjustments, with most of the GREE platform team “transitioned to new departments with redundancies in some areas.”
It adds that the GREE platform business will transition to its Tokyo headquarters. This all comes after the shutdown of OpenFeint a few weeks back, and the folks over on TechCrunch report that most layoffs (as much as 30 or more) are coming from the OpenFeint team or direct US hires. We’ve requested confirmation on that point, but GREE reps declined to comment beyond the original announcement.
GREE’s recent FY2013 first quarter financials saw net sales and operating profit down for a second straight quarter, although the company told us at the time that sales had increased in August and September and that they saw a trend towards a recovery. Labor costs due to expanding global operations were cited, so perhaps these reorganizations will address that issue.
As for GREE’s new investment fund, which made up the ‘good’ in a good-news/bad-news announcement, it says that the first venture in this fund will be San Francisco-based games studio MunkyFun, receiving $3 million in investment from GREE. Among the studio’s most recent games are My Horse and Bounty Bots.
Most recently GREE has also been active in establishing partnerships in Latin America, with prominent tie-ups with Brazilian game developer Vostu, as well as Columbian 3D animation and media studio, Brainz.