GREE + Funzio = ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Products in the games industry are often reviewed but deals seldom are. When one does get attention from the press or Tweetosphere it is typically about what went wrong. Roughly a year after we inked it, I am therefore very proud of the deal team on both sides of the GREE-Funzio acquisition for this rave review and the amazing traction of the combined studio since last May:
"In 2012, GREE acquired the maker of Crime City, Modern War and Kingdom Age for more cash than Zynga paid for OMGPOP ($210M). Why? Because they were smart, that’s why. They not only bolstered their IP portfolio, they got themselves a studio with know-how and proven insight into the minds (and wallets) of US gamers. Now, GREE can enjoy Funzio’s insight into what works in its games, and Funzio can benefit from GREE’s investment in process and technology.
We’ve integrated GREE’s live-ops best practices into our RPGs - games like Kingdom Age, Crime City, and Modern War, said former Funzio President, Storm-8 co-founder and now GREE COO Anil Dharni. Because of that, we have seen those games, the oldest which has been out for over a year-and-a-half, rise up the top-grossing charts.
GREE’s San Francisco office now employees over 400 people and since the acquisition, four of their games have charted in the top 50 in the AppStore and three in the Android top 25. So clearly something is working. What’s more telling is that, a year after the acquisition, all of the Funzio executives are still around. It’s not easy to make a Japanese-owned US studio work, but GREE’s doing it, and they’re doing it by focusing on the games and on the players.”