Online Game Company Zynga To Double India Staff To 200 This Year

Zynga, the online game company behind the titles "FarmVille" and "Mafia Wars," and one of the hottest U.S. Web start-ups, said it is starting a game development studio in India and plans to double its staff there this year.

Zynga Studio I, to be based in the company's office in Bangalore, will be the firm's largest office outside the United States. The company plans to hire 100 workers this year, adding to the 100 who work there now.

Zynga has 1,500 employees around the world.

About half the new employees would be game developers, the people who do the actual "coding" of the games, said Colleen McCreary, the company's human resources chief.

Privately-held Zynga has attracted interest from investors eager to get a piece of a company they consider nearly as hot as online social networks Twitter and Facebook.

Many investors have been hoping these companies go public, though, so far, they have limited their investor base.

Zynga started its India office last year with developers who worked on the company's database that defines how users interact with the games they play online.

About 100 developers here work on Membase -- an open-source database application that Zynga uses -- to connect its 25 million users worldwide.

Thursday's announcement, made at a news conference in Bangalore, would make the fast-growing information technology hub a key part of game development.

Zynga saw creative talent in India, but found it to be more of a "niche sector" in the country, said Shan Kadavil, Zynga's India manager. Inst

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