Gree acquires Open Feint; the Japanese Invasion begins ... again

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Forget the Japanese Invasion of the 1980s, the Japanese Invasion is here ... again in social games. (Seriously, what does every parent call every video game system ever? That damned Nintendo.) Gree, a Japanese company that runs the Gree mobile social games platform, has bought OpenFeint, a company that does exactly the same thing in the US. You've probably seen OpenFeint in hit iPhone games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, meaning this acquisition could result in a little name change. USA Today reports that the purchase was made for a sweet $104 million, and is another step in Gree's plan to create a global social gaming network that expands past its 25 million mobile users. In other words, Zynga better watch its back.

"We are excited that Gree shares our belief in the OpenFeint network and are ecstatic to partner with a renowned global leader to build a multi-billion dollar business," OpenFeint CEO Jason Citron said in a statement. "Together, we will deliver the strongest global ecosystem of gaming networks to our combined 100 million users." And it takes more than one invader to call it an invasion, correct?

This isn't the first time that a Japanese company has bought an American one. DeNa, a rival of Gree's, bought mobile game developer Ngmoco for an insane $403 million just months ago. These companies are throwing down some serious cash for the sake of their mission: global domination--of the social gaming space. Surely Zynga will rise to the challenge, so just grab some fresh popcorn, sit back and watch the fur fly.

[Image Credit: Asiajin]

How do you think these Japanese companies will fare in their global expansion? How will Zynga respond to this threat? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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