GREE today lifted the lid off the GREE Partners Fund, a new program where the mobile-social gaming powerhouse will be making significant equity investments in talented, independent mobile game developers in the free-to-play space.
“From our perspective, we view [the GREE Partners Fund] as if this is going to be a long-term relationship, then we can open the kimono and share everything that we’ve learned,” says jim Ying, GREE’s new VP of developer relations and publishing.
Last year, the Tokyo-headquartered company acquired developer Funzio, who’s now developing first-party games for GREE, and invested an undisclosed amount of money in Vancouver, Canada-based IUGO Mobile and $3 million in independent mobile game studio MunkyFun. All the acquisitions and investments are part of GREE’s strategy of making significant investments in developers.
“We unofficially announced the [GREE Partners Fund] a month back with MunkyFun, Ying tells Inside Mobile Apps. “It’s the same model. We’re including it as the first recipient of the fund.”
Ying will run the program, and GREE will invest $1 million or more into developers. Similar to the IUGO Mobile and MunkyFun deals, GREE will be investing money into developers for equity. GREE’s not only brining money to the table, it will also share its knowledge and know-how in areas such as monetization and retention as well as support partners through marketing efforts, post-launch operations, growth initiatives and more. Partners will also have access to GREE’s business analytics team, so partners can drill down into their game metrics.
GREE is focusing more on partnering with a developer based on a team’s talent pool and track record over anything else like a specific game a developer made, Ying adds. GREE aren’t just looking for any old developer, though. GREE is only looking to partner with developers who have the potential to make games that can be a top 25 grossing title, Ying says. The developer also had to have released a free-to-play mobile game that has had some success, and have experience in post-launch operations such as events or content.
Since this partnership model is hands-on, GREE will be initially looking for local developers from North and South America. Developers who are interested in the GREE Partner Fund can find information or apply here.