Japanese mobile company Gree is ending its operations in the West, shutting down three studios and cutting 125 jobs.
Gree is shuttering its offices in San Francisco, Melbourne, and Berlin, according to an anonymous source. The mobile company will focus on a Japan-first strategy going forward, although it will still support games released in the West like DragonSoul, Knights & Dragons, and Modern War. This is according to company e-mail Gree International chief executive officer Andrew Sheppard sent to staff. A source familiar with the matter sent that message to GamesBeat.
“We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has worked for or with Gree International since we founded operations there in 2011,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Gree. “We’re proud of the entertainment experiences we’ve launched in western markets, and look forward to the next chapter as we focus on publishing our most successful Japanese titles in the West.”
Sheppard is also leaving the company after a helping a small transition team, according to Amanda Taggart Hughes, managing director of PR firm Mercury Global Partners.
Gree had already laid off an unknown number of people at the San Francisco office earlier this year. At the time, Gree said that this was part of a restructuring plan. In 2015, the company laid off 30 percent of the San Francisco staff.
Gree started as a mobile social platform and chatting service in 2004, but the company eventually expanded into mobile gaming. Gree acquired DragonSoul, a hit mobile role-playing game with over 9 million downloads, late last year.