A week after Zynga announced plans with Softbank to distribute games across Japan, they’ve also announced plans to purchase a Japanese game development company called Unoh. This deal with Unoh will likely have the team joining the newly formed Zynga Japan office, which purportedly plans to dominate the Japanese mobile space and port Zynga’s great social hits to the Japanese mobile market.
Unoh has developed a series of games for the Japanese mobile games market since their inception in 2001, including Machitsuku, Band Yarouo and Kaizoku Chronicle. Clearly, there is an entire Japanese games space that Zynga – a very shrewd business – has seen potential in. These are Unoh’s mobile titles and the mobile social games space has been hot in Japan for years, as users are well versed in paying for virtual goods through microtransactions.
Unoh also holds a few games on sites such as mixi, which is Japan’s top social network. This hints that Zynga maybe moving into the Japanese web space as well, which is a less developed game area than the Japanese mobile space.
"Zynga is delighted to welcome the Unoh team, one of the pioneer Japanese social game developers, to the Zynga family," said Mark Pincus, CEO and founder of Zynga. "They have a great track record of producing innovative, successful games and are a complement to the top-notch team we have already begun to assemble in Japan."
Unoh’s founder Shintaro Yamada will be a key part of the move into the mobile space.
"We’re very excited to join Zynga to help extend its reach to Japanese consumers," Yamada said. "We’re looking forward to being an integral part of Zynga Japan’s leadership and growth, and are happy to support bringing the best social games to Japan’s cutting edge mobile and web technologies."