Eager to compete with rival DeNA, Japan’s Gree has just released new details on its global social gaming platform. The borderless system will give users a single sign-on so they can play games on the network wherever they are and regardless of phone.
The platform won’t be available until the second quarter of 2012, well behind DeNA/Ngmoco’s currently available Mobage platform. For developers, the system will give game makers a target platform to build free-to-play games that can use Gree’s global payment solution and out-of-network cross-promotional opportunities. The idea is to create a social mobile game platform that makes it easier for games to be discovered and spread in a viral fashion. Gree can give developers access to a network with more than 150 million registered gamers around the world.
Gree will make the software development kit available for both iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android games.
“This new Gree platform continues to show the commitment we have to building a truly global, free-to-play ecosystem for mobile developers. Our goal is to offer the best social gaming experience to players around the world,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief executive and founder of Gree. “Gree worldwide has the largest cross-platform network and this is a step closer to our goal of reaching one billion users.”
The SDK will have seamless cross-platform integration and analytics tools. Gree will launch an app discovery portal with new social tools. Users will be able to access features such as leaderboards and achievements.
Available in Q2 of 2012, the new platform will provide developers worldwide with a seamless iOS and Android integration process, as well as rich analytics tools. The unified iOS and Android APIs and app discovery portal will offer games with the next generation of social tools and interaction, and continue to provide all of the most popular gaming features such as leaderboards and achievements. Gree acquired OpenFeint in April 2011 and it offers more than 7,500 games for smartphones.
Gree has been growing fast. Between 2008 and 2010 Gree claims to have seen its sales growth rate increase by more than 4,000 percent. It has 26 million registered users in Japan and, thanks to its acquisition of OpenFeint in April 2011, now boasts 145 million users worldwide. After the announcement of the $104 million acquisition, the two companies explained that they would be creating “a global ecosystem of distribution channels for game developers.”
In addition to OpenFeint, which is a wholly owned subsidiary, Gree also has partnership agreements with two very popular social networks in Asia. In April, Gree announced a partnership with Project Goth, the company behind Mig33, a mobile social network with 47 million users worldwide, but with a particular focus on emerging markets like South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.