Game Site Gree Seeks Growth Through Hotel Bookings
TOKYO—Japanese mobile-game developer Gree Inc. 3632.TO -0.36% is hoping a foray into the hotel-booking business can help restore profits hit by declining sales of products linked to its games.
Gree's entry into hotel-reservation apps is part of a larger fight for a share of Japan's ¥15 trillion ($148 billion) domestic travel market, which is benefiting from a revival in the nation's economy. In the Japanese market, online-services company Rakuten Inc. 's travel site and Recruit Holdings Co.'s Jalan site currently control about 60% of hotel bookings made via online travel agents, according to market research firm PhoCusWright Japan.
Earlier this month, Gree invested $4.5 million in Hong Kong-based HotelQuickly, a mobile app that offers last-minute hotel rooms at discounted prices. Gree hopes HotelQuickly will help operations of its own booking app, Tonight, launched in Japan last month.
Representatives of Rakuten and Recruit declined to comment on Gree's move but said they have long offered last-minute booking discounts.