GREE’s new global mobile-social gaming platform enters open beta

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By Mike Thompson Comment

Mobile social game network GREE today announced its new global platform is now in open beta for developers.

The new mobile-social gaming platform combies elements from GREE’s existing Japanese platform and OpenFeint, the iOS social gaming network GREE acquired for $104 million last April. According to GREE’s SVP of Product Ethan Fassett, the company’s new global platform has been designed to help create a worldwide, online community focused around free-to-play titles.

GREE is inviting developers to download the new platform’s SDK, which will allow developers to easily implement social features like invites, leaderboards and achievements into their games.

When it comes out of beta, GREE’s global platform will launch with over 60 titles. Up until now GREE has been testing the North America market with two first-party games — its card-battle title  Zombie Jombie and the kid-friendly Alien Family. Although Alien Family has had limited success so far, Zombie Jombie seems to have its footing. The title is currently the No. 13 top grossing game and No. 17 top grossing app in the iTunes App Store.

In addition to developing its own first party titles, GREE has also been busy lining up partnerships to bolster its platform’s launch lineup. So far the company has signed content deals with Crowdstar, iWinUbisoft, Gameloft and top-tier Chinese developers like Haypi, Hoolai and PunchBox. GREE’s platform will also launch with games from Funzio, the mid-core mobile and social developer it acquired for $210 million earlier this month.

The new GREE global platform will probably be tempting for developers to get on board with, if for no other reason than its impressive network of 230 million users. However, even in the relatively undeveloped North American mobile-social game market, GREE’s offering faces some stiff competition. The company’s arch-rival DeNA has just begun moving onto iOS after establishing its lead on Android, and has brought its top grossing card-battle game Rage of Bahamut with it. Both companies are also pitting themselves against Apple’s Game Center, which acts as the default social gaming layer on iOS.

Although currently only available in English and Japanese, the GREE platform will be available in 14 other languages by September. Developers interested in the new platform can learn more at GREE’s official site.

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