Are GREE’s U.S. Efforts Starting to Pay Off With $29M In First-Half Studio Revenue?

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The Japanese mobile gaming companies came. They saw. And they still have yet to conquer Western consumer markets, but at least they’re showing some financial progress.

Japan’s GREE today said that its U.S. studios have now seen about $29 million in revenue in the first-half. No word on profits though, but we do hear that they are quite the aggressive spenders on marketing.

Much of that came from Funzio, the San Francisco mobile-social gaming company GREE acquired for $210 million earlier this year. The $16.9 million GREE made in the last quarter from its U.S. studios represented a 38 percent increase over the first one.

In more evidence that tablets are proving to be a very lucrative device category, 40 percent of GREE’s game revenue comes from the iPad. They’re vague on the iOS-Android split though. The company adds that both Modern War, which is from Funzio, and another first-party title Zombie Jombie sometimes see more than $1 per daily active user.

“At the beginning of last year when we started, we had just five people and no one knew about GREE in the U.S.,” said Naoki Aoyagi, who runs GREE International and says that the company now has more than 400 people in the U.S.

GREE and its archrival DeNA have made some splashy acquisitions to break into Western markets and grow beyond their saturated home market of Japan. GREE spent $104 million on mobile-social gaming network OpenFeint and then picked up Funzio earlier this year. Both acquisitions weren’t totally smooth with a few high-profile departures. OpenFeint CEO Jason Citron left soon after the deal while a few higher-up executives like Jamil Moledina left Funzio. Aoyagi said though that only a “single-digit” number of former Funzio people had left the company since the deal.

Overall, GREE’s earnings are down a little quarter-over-quarter, thanks to some new regulations from the Japanese government that have clamped down on certain game mechanics. GREE did $155 million in net income on $505.6 million in sales this past quarter, down 8 and 13 percent respectively from the previous one. Revenue is still up by 90 percent year-over-year, however. For the next couple quarter, GREE plans to introduce more card battle and simulation games.