Zynga Japan branch to shut down; fails to woo Japanese social gamers
Zynga Japan falls to national competitor resulting in a shutdown, but not something out of the blue.
Zynga, the company that brought to the market FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and by extension, Draw Something (Zynga owns Omgpop), is closing its branch in Japan come January. After a cut of 5% of its workforce in October to optimize its operations, Zynga now decides to eradicate its offices in Japan in effort to trim its less profitable parts. Gree, Zynga’s Japan competitor, has made it tough for Zynga in the Japanese market. In 2010, Zynga attempted to compete by buying out Unoh Games (a Tokyo based company), but to no avail present day.
Kenji Matsubara, CEO of Zynga Japan posted to Facebook the announcement of the closure. In it, he thanked those who supported and played Zynga and stated "Zynga Japan will dissolve effective January 31, 2013." He continued by saying operations will continue up until that date.
Zynga executives tossed around the idea of a closure in October after the 5% layoff, so the idea was not impromptu. In fact, Zynga has seen some tough times this quarter. They had to put an end to three of their games—the ones that did not match up to their more successful titles. Nevertheless, Zynga is still a major player in social gaming despite recent slips in some markets.