OpenFeint announced last night that they’ve been acquired by Japanese mobile social gaming company GREE for $104 million. Despite the seismic shift behind the scenes as the two companies merge, OpenFeint users and developers aren’t likely to see a significant change to the service any time soon.
Most iOS gamers are probably familiar with the OpenFeint platform, as it has a presence in over 5,000 games on iOS and Android devices. In fact, they’re the largest mobile social gaming network in the world, with over 75 million registered users. GREE is similar to OpenFeint, but until now its presence hasn’t reached far outside of Japan. GREE has 25 million users and 500 games under its umbrella.
Based on the facts released (and granted, they’re drenched in PR optimism), this merger will be beneficial for both companies, opening up new markets to both sides. Current OpenFeint employees will remain onboard; in fact, they’re hiring now, and expect to double in size this year. As part of the acquisition, GREE intends to pump additional money into OpenFeint to help accelerate growth, strengthen the network, and make new features available to OpenFeint developers.
And to think, last year, when Apple launched their own social gaming platform, Game Center, we thought the future for OpenFeint looked mighty grim. How wrong we were.