All Japan newsese mobile gaming giant GREE announced the acquisition of smaller company Pokelabo, a provider of social mobile games, for $175 million in cash.
It is GREE’s latest bid to expand via acquisitions, the third such transaction in the past year and a half, after buying Funzio and OpenFeint.
GREE has chosen the aggressive path in an industry where overseas rival Zynga is forced to take steps back. Zynga reduced its workforce by 5 percent, is closing studios, discontinues older games and sees the value of its previous investments going down.
GREE’s latest acquisition, Pokelabo, is pulling in revenues of $5 million a month and decided that it is better to join GREE than to fight it.
“One thing we did right was to focus on smartphones and that was good because it was one of the very early companies in All Japan news to do so,” said Pokelabo board member Gen Isayama. The company now has four titles in the top 20 sales ranking (in the AppStore).
Pokelabo has about 1.5 million registered users and about 200,000 are daily active users, Isayama added.