New Deal: Japanese GREE Buys American OpenFeint

The announcement came last night that GREE, Japan’s biggest social networking service paid $104 million to buy OpenFeint, a social gaming platform that lets users add friends, view friends’ activities, and participate in forums and chats. Yoshikazu Tanaka is GREE’s founder and CEO.

News outlets are reporting that OpenFeint’s own CEO, Jason Citron will not lose his leadership position. Also, “his team will remain in place.” The Wall Street Journal says there will be no “merging” of services, instead, the two entities will collaborate through application sharing and the joint development of projects. Perhaps more to the point, they’re saying that by coming together they hope two heads will, indeed, be better than one.

OpenFeint is based in Burlingame, CA and GREE International recently opened an office in San Francisco. In a released statement, Yoshikazu Tanaka said concerning the deal: “We are socializing the next evolution of games and, as the best-in-class US-based mobile social network, OpenFeint is the ideal partner for us to offer the best mobile social games to the largest global audience.”

Finally, it’s also reported that through the deal, GREE will speed along OpenFeint’s outstanding growth and also get its outstanding securities. The two companies are envisioning the development of a “global ecosystem” for social gaming and networking.

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