Japanese Company DeNA Expands Footprint In U.S.; Invests In Social Game Studio Astro Ape

A week after announcing the acquisition of U.S. mobile social gaming studio, Gameview, Japanese gaming giant DeNA is making a strategic investment in another U.S. gaming company, social game studio Astro Ape. The investment amount was not disclosed by the companies.

Based in Edison, N.J., Astro Ape creates social game titles for the iOS platform, including Office Heroes, an iPhone app simulating a game within the corporate world. As part of the investment, Astro Ape will develop titles for DeNA’s MiniNation mobile platform, DeNA’s subsidiary in the smartphone market.

DeNA has been actively looking to expand its footprint in the U.S. via acquisitions, investments and partnerships. In fact, this is the fourth American social gaming investment by the company over the past year. The company purchased game studio IceBreaker and invested in gaming platform AuroraFeint last year.

This year, DeNA has created a new gaming portal with Yahoo, and launched a $27.5 million social gaming VC fund. Financially, DeNA is on track to create $1 billion in revenue this year, posting strong first quarter earnings a few weeks ago, fueled by the company’s entry into the American market and debut on iPhones in 2010.