New owner Gree wants a 'global ecosystem of developer distribution channels'

OpenFeint sold for $104 million

Mobile games network OpenFeint has been acquired for $104 million by Japanese games firm Gree.

Both firms have claimed that the OpenFeint brand, and its CEO, will remain intact following the buyout.

OpenFeint’s eponymous games platform first launched in February 2009. Since then the network has accrued some 75 million users and about 19,000 developers. The smartphone application provides social networking, high score lists, multiplayer and other networking opportunities.

Its new owner, Gree, provides a similar service and said both forces “will build a global ecosystem of distribution channels for game developers”.

Gree said it will “use its social gaming and platform expertise to accelerate OpenFeint’s growth”.

The basis for this is claim is unclear, however, as OpenFeint has three times the user-base of Gree, and is the world’s largest cross-platform social games network for smartphones.

The new combined business is said will expand internationally, opening offices in Beijing, Singapore and London. Both are aggressively hiring, with the OpenFeint division hoping to double in size by 2011.

Gree had established a US arm to perform a triangular acquisition of OpenFeint.

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