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Gree closes UK studio to focus on US operations

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Gree, a Japan-based developer and publisher of mobile games, is pulling out of Europe — the company is closing its London-based studio, reports TechCrunch.

In a statement obtained by TechCrunch and later sent to Polygon, the company cited "the challenging economic climate and on-going changes within the interactive industry." According to Lynn Daniel, business development director for Gree's UK office, the move is part of the company's efforts to refocus game development for the Western market in its U.S. offices; a Gree subsidiary is located in San Francisco. It's unclear if the change also affects Gree's other European branch, which is located in Amsterdam.

Gree originally opened its London division in September 2011 as a business development office, and expanded it into a game development studio last August as part of an investment in Western-oriented content localized for Europe. At the time, the branch had about 20 employees, although a staff photo on the office's website includes more than 35 individuals.

In May, Gree laid off 25 members of its San Francisco office. A representative for the company's UK office provided Polygon with the following statement confirming its closure, but did not provide further details.

Due to the challenging economic climate and on-going changes within the interactive industry, Gree has proposed to close its UK office. This decision is being considered in order to focus on developing content from the United States of America for the Western market.

Gree has seen significant growth since it was founded in December 2004, but during 2013 the Gree board have found it necessary to re-assess and streamline the global business with a view to consolidating certain functions.

This realignment of the business is a necessity to ensure that Gree can continue to invest and enhance its business offering moving forward. The management team are confident that the proposed restructure of the business will benefit the company due to the changing nature of the digital industry over the coming years.

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