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Shifting from Facebook to mobile, Crowdstar is announcing today that it will publish games through Gree‘s worldwide mobile social network.
The alliance isn’t a surprise in one respect: Gree purchased OpenFeint, a sister company to Crowdstar, from YouWeb for $104 million last year. Gree is using that platform as the basis for its smartphone-based mobile social network.
“We believe that the future of gaming is on mobile and that the industry needs both strong high quality social titles and a strong global platform to meet the needs of players and developers alike,” says Peter Relan, chief executive of Crowdstar. “Gree and Crowdstar share the same idea that without social connections and a way for people to discover and interact in and around games, the industry will stall.”
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Relan said that Menlo Park, Calif.-based Crowdstar will put less emphasis on creating original Facebook games in the future as it focuses on the larger market opportunity of mobile. While Zynga dominates the field on Facebook, mobile is a much more level playing field, Relan said in an interview with GamesBeat.
“We were excited when we saw Gree come with OpenFeint and deliver alternatives,” Relan said. “This is a good opportunity to drive our growth in the post-PC era.”
Relan said Facebook has been a good strategic partner and the company will maintain its games such as Happy Aquarium, Happy Pets, Wasteland Empires, and It Girl. It will also continue to publish mobile web games that work across both Facebook and mobile platforms. Wasteland Empires was the company’s big hope for a hit in the hardcore social game space, but it peaked with only 83,000 daily active users in September. Now, Relan said that Gree will be Crowdstar’s new strategic partner in mobile.
Gree is also announcing an exclusive partnership with iWin. Gree is launching its mobile social network platform in the second quarter. Interestingly, Gree will have a booth at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which is traditionally the venue for launching PC and console video games.
Social game maker iWin will be publishing its first two social mobile games exclusively on Gree as it also turns its focus on the mobile market. iWin will be releasing two titles, “1 vs 100” and “Deal or No Deal,” adapted to mobile from the successful Facebook versions.
“Gree is building a social mobile gaming ecosystem that offers the best features and experiences,” said Eros Resmini, senior vice president of developer relations and marketing at Gree International. “Crowdstar’s and iWin’s commitment to the mobile games market and focus on high quality social games makes them the ideal partner for us. We have huge respect for what they have achieved in the marketplace, and are excited to work with them to bring great games to users around the world.”
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