Bangalore: Zynga Game Network Inc., the maker of popular games such as Farmville and Mafia Wars, has set up its first office outside the US in Bangalore to support its fast increasing user base.
The two-and-a-half-year-old San Francisco-based technology company prides itself with as many as 235 million monthly active gamers globally.
“We expect the user base to double in a year,” chief technology officer Cadir Lee said on Wednesday at a meeting to announce the Bangalore centre.
Graphic: Yogesh Kumar/Mint
Zynga has about 20 games hosted across social networking web sites such as Facebook and Apple Inc.’s iPhone.
“We will hire 100 engineers and computer scientists over the next year in Bangalore,” said Shan Kadavil, country manager of Zynga’s Indian arm. The India staff will build back-end infrastructure and store data. The company also plans to set up a game studio in Bangalore that will develop games from scratch.
Kadavil says the company choose Bangalore due to its high-quality talent and a growing online population.
“Five years back (gaming) companies came to India because of cost (advantage) followed by talent (availability), but now they come because of talent available at good cost,” said Manoj Dawane, chief executive of People Infocom Pvt. Ltd, a mobile gaming and Internet company.
Online social games are a throw back to the card and board games of yesteryears where multiple players play as a means of social interaction, as opposed to console or video games that test players’ reflexes and hand-eye coordination.
This industry is about two years old and grew on the back of social networking sites such as Facebook, which opened its portals to application developers in 2007.
Zynga, which has funding from venture capital investors such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, declined to reveal its revenue but said it has broken even from the first year itself, with users paying to buy virtual cows and tractors.