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Zynga Buys Japanese Social Game Dev Unoh

Zynga Buys Japanese Social Game Dev Unoh

August 5, 2010 | By Eric Caoili

August 5, 2010 | By Eric Caoili
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Farmville developer Zynga has increased its footprint in Asia with the acquisition of Tokyo-based social game studio Unoh for "several billion yen" -- 1 billion currently exchanges for around $11.6 million.

Unoh will now be tasked with localizing the San Francisco-headquartered company's games to better fit the tastes of Asian consumers, according to a report (registration required) from Japanese business paper The Nikkei posted by TechCrunch.

The Tokyo start-up will also have the opportunity to create titles for both local and international markets on its own. Founded in 2001 and employing a staff of 25, the studio has so far specialized in mobile social games for Japanese consumers.

Unoh's biggest title so far is Machitsuku (Build a City), a free-to-play game with virtual goods, which attracts more than three million users on Japanese social network Mixi. Its other releases include photo/video sharing app PhotoZou and music game Band Yarou Yo.

This purchase follows a series of major moves by Zynga in Asia, including the setting up of a studio in Bangalore, the acquisition of Beijing-based developer XPD Media, the raising of $150 million from Japan's Softbank, and the establishing of its Zynga Japan joint venture with Softbank.

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