GREE announces partnerships with top Chinese developers Haypi, Hoolai and PunchBox for forthcoming gaming platform

By Kathleen De Vere Comment

Details continue to trickle out about GREE’s upcoming global mobile-social gaming network, with the company announcing that it has partnered with 11 Chinese and South Korean developers. Announced today, the deal will bring 12 popular iOS and Android mobile-social games to its network. The full list of developers and games is:

All of the developers included in the announcement are well-known in their home markets. Haypi’s game Haypi Kingdom is one of the most popular Chinese mobile games and Hoolai has been the highest grossing developer on Tencent’s platform, China’s biggest social network. Chukong Technology (PunchBox) is known for the $14 million in funding it raised from Sequoia China and Disney’s Steamboat Ventures along with its top game Fishing Joy. Because the Chinese market monetizes so poorly despite its incredible growth, many local developers are keen to cater to Western markets.

GREE did not reveal an exact timeline for the international debut of the games, stating simply they would be available “around the launch of the platform in Q2 2012.” One of the two dominant mobile gaming players in Japan, GREE is looking for additional growth abroad. The company reported earnings that would make Zynga blush last week with $167.3 million in net income on $545.3 million in revenue for the fourth quarter.

According to GREE, all the titles will launch in English, but further localization into Chinese, Korean and Japanese is also under consideration, which is unsurprising considering the monetization potential in the Korean and Japanese mobile game markets. According to Game Insight’s VP of Business Development Darya Trushkina, Korea and Japan enjoy better retention rates and monetize on a much higher level than Western markets.

The news also makes sense in light of GREE’s earlier announcement that it has partnered with five separate localization companies to help developers on the as-yet-unnamed mobile-social games platform launch into new international markets.