GREE expands U.K. operations, creates new development studio

Less than a month after announcing it would open a new first-party studio in Vancouver, GREE has announced it is re-locating its U.K. office to London and setting up a new studio there as well.

According to today’s announcement, GREE’s latest studio will be based in East London, and will develop mobile-social games. Although GREE U.K. already employs about 20 people the company is in the process of increasing its U.K. headcount significantly, and is hiring for developers, developer relations, marketing and customer support staff.

As GREE continues to expand aggressively, it’s a smart move for the company to set up a full development studio in the U.K. Similar to the situation in Vancouver, BC, the decline of the traditional game industry has lead to the creation of dozens of mobile gaming startups. As Japanese social game industry analyst Dr. Serkan Toto rightly speculates, the move will also make it much easier for GREE to acquire U.K. studios — many of which were formed by highly talented console industry veterans.

“The formation of a UK studio is strategically significant on many levels,” said Ryotaro Shima, GREE’s UK CEO in a statement. “Primarily it will allow us to focus on Western content, keyed to local social trends, as well as tailoring content for global propositions. It also reinforces GREE’s commitment to growth within European markets.”

GREE’s new U.K. studio will be based in the East London neighborhood commonly referred to as Tech City, and will open in September.