The Melbourne arm of GREE International Entertainment has been closed down, with around 50 employees made redundant.
Multiple sources within the studio confirmed the closure to Kotaku Australia this morning. GREE’s Melbourne studio spawned from the acquisition of Twiitch, an Australian mobile developer founded by Steven Spagnolo and Shane Stevens. GREE International, the Western segment of the Japanese-based mobile giant, acquired the company in 2015.
Staff were told this morning, sources have told Kotaku, with the entire Melbourne workforce laid off. GREE’s offices in Berlin and San Francisco have also been affected, but it’s not clear at the time of writing to what extent those offices have been impacted.
The GREE Melbourne website says the studio worked on Modern War, Knights & Dragons, Dragonsoul, and Crime City. The studio also had a large presence at last year’s Melbourne International Games Week, and only in late November the studio posted a video on YouTube celebrating the launch of their office.
The studio was also featured in an episode of Good Game Pocket last year. Around 9 minutes in, Nich Richardson asked GREE Melbourne’s CEO Andrew Sheppard about incorporating a small studio into the structure of a global corporation (skip to 9m 30s).
It’s believed that around 50 people were employed by the Melbourne studio. Some redundancy payments are being offered to staffers.