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GREE Inc. is back in the black after transitional year

Japanese firm readies for "new release blitz" in the next fiscal year after 12 months of declining revenue

GREE Inc. returned to profit in the last fiscal year, even though its total revenue declined by almost 25%.

For the year ended June 30, 2016, GREE earned ¥69.88 billion ($689m/€618m/£531m), a significant drop from the ¥92.45 billion it earned in the previous fiscal year. However, a process of cost-cutting and restructuring allowed the Japanese company to move back into the black, turning last year's ¥10.3 billion loss into an ¥8.4 billion ($83m/€74m/£64m) profit - which was still 26% lower than its forecast, but nevertheless an improvement over the prior year.

GREE's International business was a focal point for much of that restructuring, with the closure of its Vancouver studio in May 2015 directly preceding a 30% reduction in its total workforce. That restructuring was overseen by COO Andrew Shepard, who told in September last year that GREE International required a "harder reset" than he originally thought.

"[GREE International's] capabilities relative to the market, our staffing relative to the needs of the existing business, it just wasn't lined up," he said.

In both Japan and internationally, the last year has been the continuation of a transitional phase for GREE. The company's report mentioned that its Japanese games had made a "limited sales contribution owing to delayed release," while its International teams were "focused on development of new titles." The company also made a number of clear plays for the emerging VR market, the most prominent of which was the launch of a $12 million investment fund in April this year.

However, that is set to change in the new fiscal year, with development of International titles receiving even more resources, and its Japanese games forming what the company is calling a, "new release blitz."

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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