Zynga continues its march eastward by reportedly purchasing Unoh, a Tokyo-based games developer. According to Techcrunch, the purchase price was equivalent to $11.6 billion.
This move marks Zynga’s second foray in the Land of the Rising Sun in the past few weeks. Zynga recently announced a $150 million investment by Softbank (huge Japanese technology and media company) earlier this year to build a joint venture to bring social games to Japan.
Unoh’s city-building online game, Machitsuku, has 3 million users through Mixi, Japan’s largest social network. Long a video games haven dominated by console gaming (it’s not coincidence this is the country Nintendo and some of the greatest console game companies are headquartered), Japan also boasts an unbelievably robust mobile gaming market and fast growing social gaming scene.
This is Zynga’s second Asian purchase. Zynga bought China-based XPD Media earlier this year.
Zynga is betting heavily that Asia is a key to its global growth beyond Facebook, and it’s a good bet. Even if the market does not materialize (which it will), Zynga is acquiring great developer talent overseas that can create game brands that transcend beyond international borders.
What’s next for Zynga in Asia? My vote: a publicity stunt (after blowing up the truck in Vegas of course) that involves Godzilla.