Gree said today that it has acquired the Dragon Soul mobile game as part of an expansion into mobile role-playing games.

The announcement was made by San Francisco-based Gree International Entertainment, the Western division of Japan’s global mobile-social company, Gree. It reflects Gree’s focus on “midcore” games, or those with hardcore themes that can be played in short sessions.

Dragon Soul was developed by PerBlue, and it has been a solid hit on both iOS and Android. The title has more than 50,000 five-star reviews and more than 9 million players worldwide. Gree International Entertainment has other hits like Knights & Dragons and Modern War, which it operates as ongoing games as a service.

Dragon Soul has a unique position in today’s mobile gaming market. It blends memorable characters with humorous tones and compelling gameplay that keeps players engaged and entertained for hours on end, said Andrew Sheppard, the CEO of Gree International Entertainment.

“We’re excited to marry Dragon Soul’s fun factor and depth of gameplay with our publishing powerhouse as we grow the franchise worldwide for all to enjoy,” Sheppard said. “The global scale of GIE will help unlock further opportunities for the Dragon Soul franchise.”

Gree will use its European operations to create local live events and hopefully increase the game’s market share in the region. Product and engineering experts from GIE will help further improve the game and its features and will execute a global marketing strategy to introduce the franchise to players around the world, Sheppard said.

“We’re thrilled to see Dragon Soul evolve into a global franchise that will excite players for years to come,” said Justin Beck, the CEO and cofounder of Madison, Wis.-based PerBlue, in a statement. “Gree’s knowledge and expertise in operating triple-A mobile gaming franchises make them the perfect partner to take over Dragon Soul’s reins.”

Under the deal, Gree will acquire only assets related to the Dragon Soul franchise. PerBlue’s current team will continue to create brand new games and support previously developed games that are not part of this acquisition.

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