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GREE International (In SF) Apparently Lays Off 2/3 Of Workforce (Update: It’s Rather 1/3)

Venturebeat has learned directly from GREE International COO Andrew Sheppard that around 30% (not 2/3) of the employees in the SF office were laid off.

GREE International, the wholly owned US subsidiary operated by Japanese mobile gaming powerhouse GREE (3632), has apparently laid of 2/3 of its workforce.

Neither GREE International nor GREE proper has officially confirmed the news, but it is out on Twitter (see  1,2,3), and I personally confirmed it with a few sources.

Based in San Francisco, GREE International is one of the two locations outside Japan where GREE is present: the other is GREE Korea in Seoul.

Overseas, GREE employed 365 people at the end of Q3 FY2015, which means that around 200 people in San Francisco should be affected by the lay offs. That office was opened back in 2011.

GREE has been de-emphasizing its overseas business over the last months, so the move isn’t really surprising.

In May, the company shut down its studio in Canada. GREE coin consumption in the last five consecutive quarters has dropped.

As a result, GREE dedicated a single page to its international business in its latest financial report, where the company said they will focus its overseas efforts on Europe during Q4.

Video And Slides From My Presentation At Casual Connect Asia 2015

I was given the opportunity to speak at Casual Connect Asia 2015 in Singapore back in May, covering (no surprise) the Japanese mobile gaming market during my 20-minute lecture. The title of the lecture is “Demystifying Japan: What Pitfalls And Chances Does The World’s Biggest Mobile Game Market Market Offer?”. The organizer of the event,…

Orbit Saga: Gamebank’s First Smartphone App Goes Live

GameBank released Orbit Saga in Japan today, a 3D action RPG for smart devices. It’s the first app released by the developer set up in January this year by Yahoo Japan (4689), the country’s biggest online company (see my previous Gamebank posts). Orbit Saga is trying to blend typical mobile RPG (questing, one-finger-controls, gacha, fusion/evolving of characters, etc.) with…

Report: Japan’s Game Market Grew To US$9.6 Billion In 2014, Thanks To Mobile

Kadokawa Dwango released a new report on the status quo of the Japanese game industry today. According to the so-called “Famitsu Game White Paper 2015″ (by Japan’s biggest video game magazine Famitsu), the domestic market for gaming grew 4% year-on-year to US$9.6 billion in 2014. For context, Famitsu estimates the global market size at US$54.4 billion for the same year….

GungHo Announces The Latest Move To Prolong The Life Cycle Of Puzzle & Dragons

Almost 3.5 years after launch, Puzzle & Dragons is still going strong in Japan, generating over US$100 million in sales per month and having crossed 36 million downloads domestically on May 15. Maker GungHo Online Entertainment (3765) has been doing its best to keep the game alive in recent years, i.e. by: updating the app with new characters, gacha, or…

Release Calendar For Listed Japanese Mobile Game Companies (As Of May 17)

Here is an updated calendar of major free-to-play native apps that publicly traded Japanese mobile game makers have announced for the coming months. Please note that these titles can be modified, canceled, or released at any given time. The list isn’t necessarily exhaustive, as games can get released without being announced before, for example. Details are subject to change. Please reach…

I Will Speak At Casual Connect Asia 2015 In Singapore Next Week

Casual Connect Asia 2015 is scheduled to take place next week in Singapore, a three-day event focusing on the “casual games” industry in Asia and elsewhere. The topic I myself will be speaking about is: “Demystifying Japan: What Pitfalls And Chances Does The World’s Biggest Mobile Game Market Offer?” (on Wednesday/May 20 at 2pm in…

Connect With Me On Social Media

Sorry for this interjection (not a typical blog post), but in case you didn’t already, please feel free to connect with me via the following social media and channels: Email My company’s website (Kantan Games Inc.) LinkedIn Twitter (If you are interested in news about mobile games in Japan not covered on this blog, my…