Report: Zynga looking to pull out of Japan before end of 2012

Games expected to close in December

Report: Zynga looking to pull out of Japan before end of 2012

Zynga is set to make good on its move to "consider" closing its office in Tokyo, with the firm likely to shut down three games in Japan before the end of December.

That's according to Tokyo-based social games consultant Dr. Serkan Toto, who claims evidence that the 'sun is setting' on Zynga's operations in the country can be found all around.

For the axe

According to Toto, the three games set to be closed on 21 December are social RPG Montopia, Japan's Words With Friends tie-in Mojitomo and city-building release Machitsuku.

"In-app purchase has been made impossible within Montopia's iOS and Android versions yesterday already," detailed Toto on his site.

"Zynga Japan has removed the Japanese smartphone versions of Word For Friends from the App Store and Google Play yesterday, too."

Other evidence cited by Toto includes the announcement that in-app purchases will also be pulled from Machitsuku on November 14, while Montopia players who have already payed for virtual items are set to be offered a code to acquire items in what will be Zynga Japan's last remaining game, card battler Ayakashi.

Closing time

Said developments, though not yet confirmed, have left Toto to conclude that it's "not too speculative to assume that this radical move marks the end of Zynga’s entire Tokyo office", coming after Zynga proposed the shut down of both its bases in the UK and Japan at the end of October.

Indeed, at the same time Zynga committed to shedding 5 percent of its global workforce.

The social giant posted a loss of $53 million in its third financial quarter just days later, despite claiming it remained the "leader" of the global social gaming scene.

Zynga's troubles come as Japanese rivals GREE and DeNA steam ahead in the west, with the latter citing "steady growth internationally" as one of the main factors in its record revenues of $627 million in Q2 2012.

[source: Serkan Toto]

Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.