In October, right before the release of its third quarter numbers, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus sent a note to his employees, where he announced that he was laying off 5% of the company’s workforce and that he would be shutting down 13 older game. He also raised the possibility of shutting down studios in Japan and the UK, in an effort to streamline the business.
“We are closing the Zynga Boston studio and proposing closures of the Zynga Japan and UK studios. Additionally, we are reducing staffing levels in our Austin studio. All of these represent terrific entrepreneurial teams, which make this decision so difficult,” Pincus wrote at the time.
Two months later, part of the news has finally come to pass, as Zynga Japan CEO Kenji Matsubara posted a note on Facebook confirming that Zynga would be shutting down operations, Serkan Toto reported Friday.
The post says that Zynga Japan will be closing at the end of January. Matsubara thanks users for playing his company’s games, and says that that service for one of its more popular games, card battle game Ayakashi, will be continued.
The news has also been confirmed on Zynga Japan’s homepage. The following is translated from Japanese to English by Google Translate, so please forgive the following:
“Notice of dissolution of a Japanese corporation
Thank you for patronizing always Zynga Japan. that we will continue to work but I get the kindness of everybody over two and a half years since its establishment as the Japanese subsidiary of U.S. company Zynga, to dissolve the corporation Womochimashite Japan January 31, 2013 due to various reasons became.
I would like to thank deeply from my heart to everyone, including the customer who enjoys the title of our past, we received your support.
Because we will continue to service beyond January 31, 2013 "Yin Ayakashi record" has gotten (and Android version of iOS) well received, thank you for your continued patronage and support.”
Zynga Japan was formed in July 2010, when Japanese telecommunications and media corporation Softbank completed a $150 million investment in Zynga. As a result of the investment, the two companies formed a new joint venture called Zynga Japan to develop and distribute social games in Japan. Then, in August 2010, Zynga acquired Japanese startup Unoh for an undisclosed amount. Unoh, a Tokyo-based developer of social games for both phones and computers, became the new base for Zynga Japan.
Now, only two and half years later, the studio has become a victim of Zynga's need to consolodate after a rough 2012. The company saw its stock fall, its executives leave in droves and its relationship with Facebook, a large driver of revenue for the social gaming company, all but come to an end.
There are signs that Zynga may have some life in it, including a deal with cloud-based television company Synacor to bring its games to Synacor’s 45 cable, satellite and telecom companies, starting in 2013.
Zynga had no comment on the news.
(Image source: http://pkhawk.blogspot.com)