Yahoo Japan and GREE (TYO:3632) announced today what they had teased a few months back – the launch of a joint-venture company that will focus on developing and running social gaming titles for smartphones. After comitting ¥200 million (US$2.2 million) to this new gaming venture, a cat was then brought into the office and allowed to walk across a keyboard 1, creating the joint-venture’s tentative name, GxYz.
GREE will hold 51 percent of the stake in GxYz, with the rest owned by Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO). Today’s announcement says that it’ll open for business on March 15th with GREE’s Tomoyuki Isaka as the CEO. The focus will be on Japanese gamers and doesn’t cover GREE’s overseas operations.
GREE is already Japan’s top social gaming platform, up against rivals as diverse as DeNA’s Mobage, Apple’s Game Center, and increasingly strong messaging apps with gaming integration, such as Line and KakaoTalk. The tie-up with Yahoo has already given GREE’s mobile titles greater exposure on Yahoo Japan, which is the country’s preferred search engine.
Today’s announcement summarizes:
Through the establishment of GxYz, the two companies aim to strengthen their smartphone social gaming business partnership, combining the user acquisition capabilities of Yahoo Japan with the social gaming development and operational expertise of GREE, while developing exceptional social games that will open up new possibilities in the game development business.
The two tech giants are already co-sponsoring Japan’s push to secure the 2020 Olympics.
As for Yahoo, we know that Yahoo Japan wants to be more social and mobile, so GREE seems like a good fit for the web portal company.
The GxYz name is not yet written in stone and could be replaced if a better one comes along – perhaps by picking letters at random from a bag of Scrabble tiles.
Not really, but a fun image.
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