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Zynga Japan shuts down, along with 11 social games

Last year was not kind to game developer Zynga, which has been losing serious traction in the social-game world when it used to reside on top.

Chief executive Mark Pincus announced the closure of the Boston studio and major reduction of its Austin branch in October. It shut down 13 games (and lessened investment in The Ville) and cut 5 percent of its full-time staff — that's a mention of full-time, not part-time, losses. Zynga was also considering shuttering its U.K. and Japan studios then, too.

Now, it's officially closing the latter's doors, effective January 31, and canning with it 11 social games, reported Gamasutra. Zynga and Japanese telecommunications and Internet company Softback started the studio in 2010.

Zynga also closed 11 other online games in December, including Mafia Wars 2 and PetVille, according to TechCrunch.

But that's only part of Zynga's troubles in 2012 and moving forward. It clashed with Electronic Arts over copycating, and its top employees — such as chief creative officer Mike Verdu and chief operating officer John Schappert — departed left and right.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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