If you have been using your device to play games, you have probably heard of OpenFeint. OpenFeint is the largest mobile social gaming network in the U.S., with over 75 million users, counting both, Android and iOS. Well, this gaming giant has been acquired by Japan’s social gaming leader, Gree, which currently has over 25 million users.
Gree is investing $104 million dollars in this acquisition, and that is without counting the capital they will be using to improve OpenFeint, in order to satisfy the 100+ million users that this merger will have. Gree’s idea is to improve OpenFeint’s ecosystem, in order to “socialize the next evolution of games,” making this merger a social gaming monster worldwide.
An acquisition can bring changes that will discomfort the consumer, since different companies usually have different ways of dealing with people, as well as working with their product. OpenFeint is actually keeping the same team that raised this company to its respected position, including CEO and founder, Jason Citron, which should make this big change feel like a small bump.
Though this merge can bring a massive improvement to the consumer, it can also be considered an attempt to monopolize the social gaming world. We can take AT&T and T-Mobile as an example; though AT&T could theoretically bring many advantages to T-Mobile customers, very few are actually supporting such possible acquisition because a monopoly would harm competition, hence hurting the consumer. Check out the official press release after the break, and hopefully it all turns out better for us! What do you guys think about this? Excited? Worried?Show Press Release
Acquisition to Help OpenFeint Accelerate OpenFeint Platform Adoption and Scale
SAN FRANCISCO – April 21st, 2011 – GREE, Japan’s leading mobile social gaming platform, today announced its entrance into the global market with the acquisition of OpenFeint’s outstanding securities for US $104 million, plus additional capital for accelerated growth of the OpenFeint platform. OpenFeint and its team will remain with long-term incentives, including CEO and founder Jason Citron, who grew the company to 75 million users and 19,000 game developers in two years. Working together, GREE and OpenFeint will build a global ecosystem of distribution channels for game developers.
Combined, the GREE and OpenFeint gaming ecosystem will reach 100 million users worldwide. As the fastest growing technology company in Japan, GREE will use its social gaming and platform expertise to accelerate OpenFeint’s growth, and take mobile social gaming to the next level.
GREE and OpenFeint are rapidly expanding internationally, soon opening offices in Beijing, Singapore and London. The companies are aggressively hiring, with OpenFeint planning to double in size in 2011.
“At GREE, we are socializing the next evolution of games and, as the best-in-class US-based mobile social network, OpenFeint is the ideal partner for us to offer the best mobile social games to the largest global audience,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, founder and CEO of GREE. “This acquisition further emphasizes GREE’s commitment to providing the first and best global gaming ecosystem, with both the developer and consumer in mind,” says Naoki Aoyagi, CEO of GREE International, the subsidiary that recently opened an office in San Francisco.
OpenFeint manages the world’s largest cross platform social gaming network for smartphones. Over 19,000 traditional and free-to-play game developers take advantage of the network’s features to acquire, retain, and monetize users.
“We are excited that GREE shares our belief in the OpenFeint network and are ecstatic to partner with a renowned global leader to build a multi-billion dollar business,” says Jason Citron, CEO and founder of OpenFeint. “Together, we will deliver the strongest global ecosystem of gaming networks to our combined 100 million users.”
Over 5,000 games use OpenFeint, including #1 Apple App Store and Android Marketplace hits such as Fruit Ninja and Tiny Wings. OpenFeint has also established partnerships with leading mobile carriers that hold over half the US market share.
Overview of acquisition
GREE will acquire OpenFeint through a triangular merger. A new subsidiary was established in the US under GREE International for the 100% acquisition of OpenFeint. GREE contributed to GREE International funds for the acquisition and subscribed for additional shares in GREE International, and the new subsidiary merged into OpenFeint. GREE International will pay cash consideration to OpenFeint shareholders and warrant/option holders in connection with the merger. The execution of the merger agreement and completion of the merger occurred on April 21st, 2011.