Zynga Scales Offices Beyond the US, Starting with Bangalore, India

Although it has millions of users around the world, social gaming leader Zynga has so far only had independent contractors abroad, and they’ve been doing customer service. But now the first international Zynga office is opening, and in Bangalore, India.

The company says one reason is to try to establish more of a presence with Indian internet users. There are only 6.3 million monthly active users on Facebook in the country, according to our latest Global Monitor report; although tens of millions more of India’s 81 million internet users are on Google’s Orkut, Zynga does not have games on it, that we know of. Still, enough Indians are playing Zynga games on Facebook that, anecdotally, some quite vocally convinced Zynga to offer the Indian national flag as a virtual good in Facebook hit game FarmVille.

The other reason for the office is obviously to recruit talented software engineers. “Zynga India is looking to recruit computer scientists and engineers who are experienced in building scalable infrastructure,” the announcement press release says.

Zynga has been trying to aggressively hire in the US for many months, snatching people out of other Silicon Valley companies. Some of the $180 million it raised last fall is going towards paying employees Beyond its sprawling San Francisco headquarters, it has offices in Los Angeles, Baltimore and further down in the valley, in Los Gatos and Sunnyvale.

On the one hand, this could be a sign that Zynga is looking to hire out of India’s skilled but less expensive labor pool. However, the US labor market for high-end software engineers is extremely tight, despite the economy, as most any technology company will tell you. Many of the best engineers are in countries like China and India, not the US; they either don’t want to move here or they can’t, because the US’s overly restrictive skilled labor immigration rules prevent them.

Other social gaming companies have offices around the world and we expect Zynga to continue expanding abroad, as well.