The social games developer Zynga decided to close its entire Japanese branch and to remove 11 of its underperforming titles, such as “PetVille,” “Mafia Wars 2” and “FishVille”, from Facebook’s game center, in order to cut costs and to return to corporate stability.
The Japanese branch will be officially dissolved on January 31, 2013, according to a notice posted on Zynga Japan’s website. Zynga’s Japanese offices were originally opened in 2010.
“Thank you for supporting PetVille and for being a loyal player! We’re sorry to inform you that PetVille will be shutting down on Dec. 30, 2012,” an announcement posted on PetVille’s Facebook page said. “In place of PetVille, we encourage you to play other Zynga games like Castleville, Chefville, Farmville 2, Mafia Wars and Yoville.”
Zynga prepared care packages of virtual free goods that will be offered to fans and that can be used in more popular games such as “CastleVille” or “FarmVille 2,” the international press reports.
“We appreciate your participation in PetVille as it helped make the game a fun place to meet and war with friends,” the Facebook post continued. “As a loyal PetVille player, you are eligible for a one-time, complimentary bonus package in one of either Castleville, or Chefville, or Farmville 2, or Mafia Wars or Yoville. You can start the process by logging into PetVille and clicking on the ‘Redeem’ button.”
Zynga tried to adjust its budget and resources in the last six months, due to the fact that the company’s income was affected by plummeting stock prices, falling user numbers and brain-drain, as many executives have left the company.