According to Develop, GREE’s U.S. studio has made its first title public. The game is an iOS card game called Zombie Jombie and it will be free-to-play. It’s scheduled to be the first of many titles due from GREE this year. SVP of Social games Eiji Araki told Develop the following:
“Zombie Jombie invites gamers into a new and darker world where zombies are the good guys and it is humans you have to watch out for… The truly talented team members of the North American studio have really focused on creating an innovative game experience that ties together strong gameplay and great social features, an approach we plan to implement for all of our games moving forward.”
GREE is also planning on launching its own social mobile games platform, which would put it in competition with companies like Zynga. When asked why game developers from outside of Japan should pay attention to GREE, CEO Naoki Aoyagi answered with the following in an interview:
Our goal is to offer a truly global mobile social gaming ecosystem and do as much as we can to cater to the needs of each territory through our platform and games. The new Gree Platform will give these developers an opportunity to tap into an extensive network of high-engagement users worldwide, while leveraging Gree’s free-to-play expertise.
The CEO also hinted that the GREE Platform will help developers build quality games and engage gamers around the world on multiple platforms.
Analysis: GREE is a huge name in Japan as far as social mobile gaming goes, so their releasing games over here will be an interesting set of events to watch unfold. They’ve made it no secret that they’d like to usurp Zynga, and I think they could give the company a run for its money, especially with this new platform. I couldn’t be happier about that, personally.
I do wonder how the types of games that GREE specializes in will translate to an American audience, however. Zombie Jombie is a card game, which is a pretty big genre over in Japan. I guess, though, if Scrabble and Words With Friends can make it big as a mobile game over here, then perhaps there’s some hope for Zombie Jombie. If nothing else, the switch up of the plot—zombies being good guys and humans being bad guys—might be enough to make people interested in trying the game out.
We’ll have to keep an eye out on GREE in the coming months as the social gaming platform is in development and several games will be coming out. If all goes well, Zynga will have some trouble on its hands.