Zynga, the star of social gaming, has hogged the limelight recently with the introduction of the new game Mafia Wars 2 in 3D, along with support for 16 languages. Now, it has announced its plans to extensively hire engineers for its Bangalore office.
Zynga had set up base in India back in February 2010. At that time, social gaming on Facebook was in a nascent stage but was growing quickly and they needed engineers to develop infrastructure and key technologies to catch up with the growing demand. After the introduction of Mafia Wars 2 on Google + a couple of days back, the Chief Technology Officer of Zynga announced that they would be hiring aggressively for the Bangalore office. They recognize India as a gold pot for talent and are following the likes of other global companies who have already set up base in India. This would also bring diversity to the company and open up new unexplored and potential markets.
With popular games like Farmville, Cityville, Zynga Poker, Mafia Wars, Words With Friends, Zynga became a household name, especially for the thousands of youngsters, who spent hours together on watering and harvesting their virtual farms. According to statistics, Zynga has over 60 million daily active users who play with each other about 416 million times a day.
Engineers are being recruited to work on distributed systems and to support the architecture of all the games. In addition, game designers are also invited to apply for designing some of the features of their latest offering. The company has picked up 11 Computer Science engineers from BITS Pilani for an attractive package and they are visiting NITs and IITs as well. Other Bangalore colleges are also on their road map.
As Zynga has recognized the huge potential of the growing market in India, it plans to start game development here too. Indian offices serve another purpose of being an entry point for western players into the local region. Some of the hindrances of Asian markets are the preference for homegrown games, playing in internet cafes, local and language barriers. But the scene in India is changing quite drastically. Most of Indian gamers prefer English and welcome US players. The trend of playing in cyber cafes is shifting to playing from home. Whenever a new game is introduced by Zynga, India has always been one of the first countries to adapt to it.
But certain issues continue to plague the country like the lack of good internet connection. Zynga doesn’t offer offline games and capitalizes on social gaming. Already the market for mobile games is huge in India. Zynga has recognized this and has indeed brought out mobile versions of its popular games. It is also leveraging on the growth of 3G in India.
What do you think Zynga should do to increase its foothold in India? Do you think they should fully embrace mobile games, at least in India? Do let us know.