Mobile game publisher GREE reportedly begins lay offs

modern warGREE, the Japanese based mobile gaming developer that recently purchased, and then closed social game maker OpenFeint, has reportedly laid off 30 employees last week. The report cited unnamed sources, who claimed that the Japanese game company laid off 30 staff members from its San Francisco office.

“We have recently aligned GREE’s US studio to focus on creating the next generation of mobile social games,” GREE International Chief Operating Officer Anil Dharni said in a statement received by GamesIndustry. “This shift in focus has been clearly demonstrated by the success and growth of our games. As part of ensuring that we are operating as efficiently as possible, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our work force. The employees leaving today have made great contributions to our success and we wish them all the best.”

GREE purchased OpenFeint, a mobile social platform that offered friend lists and achievements on iOS and Android devices, in 2011 for $104 million. But OpenFeint began spiraling into irrelevance when Apple introduced its Game Center platform in 2010. GREE shut down OpenFeint in late 2012 and laid off 25 staff. The company acquired mobile game developer Funzio last year for $210 million, but it’s unknown whether these layoffs are related. GREE publishes iOS and Android games like the generically titled Crime City, Kingdom Age and Modern War.

[UPDATE]: Gree has replied with the official statement that it also supplied to GamesIndustry.