GREE International, a mobile social gaming company in Japan, recently stated it is adding HTML5 compatibility to its social gaming platform. With that announcement came speculation that the company could help propel HTML5-based gaming further forward as the GREE platform overcomes the two major hurdles HTML5 games have yet to fully clear: distribution and discovery.
However, GREE stated in an interview with PocketGamer.biz that it has no plans to push Web-based apps in the west.
The company did go on, though, to point out that adding HTML5 support to its platform coincides with news of its partnership with SingTel (News - Alert) in Asia, which enables direct carrier billing for GREE mobile social games distributed on SingTel's network. Both pieces of news bode well for mobile Web developer partners targeting specific markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, the SingTel partnership also brings enhanced support for HTML5 to the GREE platform.
Overall, GREE's partnership with SingTel expands the addressable market for mobile Web game developers in Asia, granting access to several previously inaccessible or hard to reach markets in the region.
While the company doesn't currently have big plans for HTML5 in North America, it did recently partner up with Japanese game developer Konami to release Dragon Collection, a digital card game, to the west. This currently iOS-exclusive mobile game has served as a way to study the U.S. and other key overseas markets for Konami and GREE, both of which are relatively new to these regions.
GREE made its first appearance in the U.S. in July of 2011 with the acquisition of OpenFeint, which has a social platform used by a number of gaming companies that allows players to share their game stats and successes on leaderboards.
Later on in 2011, the company penetrated the Chinese market via Tencent's Wireless Open Platform for Community. This allowed GREE and Tencent development partners to code for the other platform.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey