Zynga breaks into Japanese market with $150M Softbank deal
Zynga has accepted a $150 million investment from Softbank, one of Japan's largest mobile networks. If this news sounds familiar, it's probably because it was first reported about six weeks ago. Nonetheless, Zynga confirmed the news just today, officially announcing a joint partnership called Zynga Japan.
This latest cash infusion for Zynga comes on top of $180 million from Russian investment group Digital Sky Technologies last year and a $100 to $200 million investment from Google that's rumored to be in the works. That's up to $530 million dumped into the company so far, which sounds like a lot until you consider Playdom just got bought by Disney for only a handful more, and Zynga is an order of magnitude bigger than Playdom, as far as regular players are concerned.
Besides likely bringing Zynga's lineup of social game to the Japanese mobile phones for the first time, the deal also frees Zynga somewhat from its reliance on Facebook's social network. By diversifying to independent networks internationally, the company gives itself more leverage over any one social network in future business dealings.