Japanese Media Giant GREE Partners with Avalanche to Enter Web3

Michail Palierakis

Nov. 03, 2022

BLRD, a subsidiary of the Japanese gaming and internet media company GREE, and Ava Labs, the software company that supports the Avalanche blockchain and its ecosystem, have formed a strategic partnership to accelerate BLRD’s growth in blockchain gaming as it prepares to launch its first Web3 game in 2023.

Both Avalanche and GREE announced this partnership on October 27th, 2022. This is another step towards mass adoption, as GREE will introduce millions of new users to Avalanche. GREE also plans to support the growth of Web3 gaming through ecosystem investments, Subnet development, and network validation in this new relationship with Ava Labs.

This partnership signals an important moment for Web3 gaming in general, as the Japanese gaming market is the 3rd largest in the world, with:

  • A volume of $33 billion 
  • The average Japanese gamer spending:
    • 6.7 hrs/week on mobile games
    • 10x more money than the average Asian gamer & 3.5x more than the average U.S. gamer

In 2021, GREE’s sales were worth approximately $500M. The gaming giant is seeing significant potential in Web3 gaming in the Japanese market.

Highlights of the GREE & Avalanche partnership

Using the Avalanche Subnets, GREE will be able to:

  • Convert in-game items and premium passes into freely tradeable assets in the form of NFTs, providing ownership to the player
  • Tokenize game currencies to minimize activity in black markets
  • Provide gamers with true ownership over their assets and governance voting, giving players, not corporations, greater power

As part of its larger aspirations to join the Avalanche primary network and gaming Subnets, GREE already runs more than a dozen Avalanche validators. GREE also holds the Avalanche token, $AVAX, marking a milestone for a Japanese publicly traded company.

GREE’s leadership in tech is something the company has already established, since it created the first mobile social game in 2007, Fishing Star. The game is still played on some consoles, such as Nintendo Switch.

BLRD, a GREE subsidiary with 30 million+ active users across various titles, wants to launch its first Web3 game next year with Ava Labs’ technical, marketing, business, and ecosystem support.

BLRD also intends to work with Ava Labs and the Avalanche Foundation on other projects, including collaborative investments with Blizzard Fund, A $200M+ fund dedicated to accelerating development, growth, and innovation across the ecosystem of Avalanche and beyond.

About GREE & BLRD

GREE is a Japanese Internet media firm, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The firm was founded in December 2004.

GREE began as an SNS firm before discovering the value of IP content. In the late 2000s, smartphone mass adoption reached Japan, and popular Anime and Movie IPs required additional content on smartphones. GREE was among the first to discover this massive industry.

The company has spent millions on marketing and advertising, with major TV commercials. It is one of the most well-known tech firms in Japan, with almost every mobile gaming TV advertisement in Japan being owned by GREE.

GREE is well-known for collaborating with some of the world’s most prominent gaming IPs, having helped titles in publishing mobile games that have received millions of downloads. Some of them include:

Japan is not the only country GREE is dominating. One Punch Man “Ichigeki Maji Fight” app was the #1 Free App in the rankings, and #4 in the paid-App category ranking for China in 2019.

Today, GREE is entering the new community-driven Web3 NFT markets, seeking fresh content with a more decentralized approach. On October 27th, GREE announced that the number of global downloads of its smartphone metaverse “REALITY” reached 10 million.

About Avalanche & Ava Labs

Avalanche was launched in September 2020, ushering in a new age for blockchains with near-instant transaction completion. Avalanche now supports 500+ dApps and secures billions of dollars in value, all while having a low environmental impact.

Ava Labs is a team that makes it simple to develop decentralized financial (DeFi) applications using Avalanche, the blockchain industry’s quickest smart contract platform. Ava Labs was formed by computer scientists from Cornell University to enable individuals to simply and freely digitize all of the world’s assets on one open and programmable blockchain platform. Andreessen Horowitz, Initialized Capital, and Polychain Capital have invested in the startup, as have Balaji Srinivasan and Naval Ravikant.

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