GREE Melbourne's Office Has Been Shut Down

Image: GREE International

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.

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Comments

    after reading i still don't know what GREE is or what they do apart from its a mobile giant.

      Been updated with more information, see if that helps.

        thanks, i'm genuinely impressed at getting such a helpful response!

    Not going to lie, while I'm sad I'm breathing a slight sigh of relief as well.
    My wife just narrowly missed out on a job there recently and we would have ended up being up shit creek this morning if she'd gotten it

      Unfortunately I do know someone who recently moved interstate to Melbourne earlier this year to take a job there, so this sucks for him.

        Yeah, but unlike most other places in Australia, Melbourne has an awesome culture and has more creative job opportunities than most other cities.

          While that's true, it doesn't always mean all that much. When a studio as big as this shuts down, that's a lot of people suddenly looking for work and and remaining studios can only take on a small percentage of them.

    Golly! There's a lot of great talent there. I hope things pan out...

    Here's GREE's statement...
    https://tinyurl.com/yabnvrk5
    (Thanks to Robert Walkley in the IGDA facebook group)

    This line is telling:
    The impact this event will have on the GREE group’s overall business is negligible.

    When a studio closes its doors in Australia, it should be the worst decision a company can make. This can only happen if every time it happens, we make noise.

      Not surprisingly, that statement's been pulled by the look of it. Guess they realised how bad it made them look that they were so dismissive of the Australian team's contributions.

    I only know of them due to a job interview I had with them for a QA position a while back when they were still Twiitch.

    They specialized in mobile games (Dungeon Keeper / Clash of Clans style games mostly).

    Only downside to them was that they payed below minimum wage, so no thank you. Seemed like good people beyond that.

    Maybe if there was some sort of Government funding that could have been invested into studios like this so that people could keep their jobs and create fun and exciting games

      Even if there is a huge amount of Government finding if the business decided to recede and trim down their offices for reasons that make sense to them then such closures will still happen.

      No politics here. Only business.

      GREE is an international company based out of Japan - even if the government grants were still in place they would not have received any funding from it.

    Playcorp is hiring experienced game programmers and artists right now if that helps. They're about to put up ads.

    http://www.playcorp.com

      I've been keeping an eye on their jobs page, but unfortunately nothing has shown up yet. Any idea if they've posted or will post their vacancies somewhere else?

    Weren't they working on some sort of Zombie game that was in soft launch?

    Good.
    These mobile types of developers design their games for $150 in app purchases deserve to burn down to the ground. They pray on children.

      Wow, 50 hard working and talented people just lost their jobs and this is what you have to say?

    Whilst it's sad seeing another game developer studio go the way of the dodo, I can't help but feel relieved that there's one less mobile games studio pumping out microtransactional crap.

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