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Zynga To Boost Asian Presence With $147M Investment From Softbank

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Social gaming platform Zynga is reported to have raised $147 million (13.5 billion yen) from Japanese telecommunication and media group Softbank to fund its expansion in Asia, the region that is widely tapped to be the market with greatest potential in the foreseeable future. "Connecting the world through games," Zynga is really living up to its name. Read on.

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Big Bucks
Citing sources close to the deal, Bloomberg said talks between the two companies focused on "distributing and jointly promoting games through Softbank's mobile-phone service in Japan and other countries."
The sources had requested anonymity as the deal was not public and neither Zynga nor Softbank would comment.

Zynga And Yahoo
PaidContent went a step further by saying that the deal included online distribution and noted in that respect that Softbank is the largest shareholder of Yahoo Japan.

Bearing in mind that, last month, Yahoo agreed to partner with Zynga to carry its games across Yahoo sites, and that Yahoo has, on top of this, entered a partnership with Nokia to reach Asian users via mobile access, this Softbank investment in Zynga is highly likely to propel the gaming platform sky high the local market.

Zynga, Facebook, Microsoft
Zynga is widely known for being Facebook's most successful gaming platform as the social site will account for "the bulk of the more than $355 million" in revenues Zynga is expected to post this year.

According to the Facebook Application leaderboard, Zynga accounts for 4 of the most successful apps on Facebook, including Farmville at #1, Texas HoldEm Poker at #4, Café World at #5 and Mafia Wars at #8.

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Nowadays, the two companies are bound by a five-year non-exclusive deal.
Zynga games are also being carried on Microsoft sites since the two firms reached an agreement in February.

Last week, Zynga launched its latest game, "FrontierVille", "a wild west-themed social
game that allows users to tame the wilderness, grow a family, and build a
thriving frontier town." Wow.

"Because It's Worth It"
Yes, mocking a famous tagline from a cosmetics company there. But it does mean something.
Zynga has great potential, with the virtual economy being valued at $10 billion in 2010. Taking Farmville only, 1% of the world population plays the game, so imagine the whole array of Zynga's offering.
Business Insider values the company at $4 billion, four times the estimated $1 billion figure given by Bloomberg only last year.

Last Fall, Zynga had already secured a $180 million investment from Facebook's main investor, Russian investment and holding firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST), bringing the total amount raised by the company from single investors to $327 million in less than a year.
It's not so surprising that the company manages to attract such "generous" investments.

Which Zynga games do you play and on what platform(s)?


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