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Gree is trimming down to focus on its biggest game properties.
The Japanese mobile gaming company has shut down its studio in Vancouver and has discontinued development of all apps from that studio. The publisher established the Vancouver studio in 2012 in an effort to expand its reach Westward. A blog post from international chief operating officer Andrew Sheppard notes that the company has evaluated market conditions and has decided to focus on development and service for its biggest franchises. Sheppard oversees Gree’s international business, which saw revenues over $1 billion last year.
The blog post notes that mobile gaming has changed since Gree rose to prominence about 10 years ago. Sheppard said it used to be that pretty much any developer had a fair shot at creating a hit game. But the industry has grown to become the second largest gaming category in terms of revenue, where development budgets climb for increasing expectations and top developers are spending up to $40 million a month on marketing campaigns. Other large companies such as Kabam are also restructuring to focus solely on its top money-making titles.
Sheppard calls the closure in this climate “the next difficult step” in the journey to become a “global gaming powerhouse in the West.”
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Gree will continue to invest in operating its games in Europe and also notes that it is preparing to invest in a new batch of mobile hits.
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