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Kuju Manila To Close As Matahari Also Shutters Indonesian Arm

Citing a weak market, Kuju is set to close its Manila office just over one year after acquiring it from Matahari Studios -- as Matahari, oddly, also closes its sole remaining Indonesian office this week.
UK-headquartered development conglomerate Kuju (Chime, Battalion Wars 2) is set to close its Manila, Philippines office, just over one year after acquiring it thanks to what it called weak demand in that market. “Kuju has conducted a strategic review of its Asian-Pacific operations and concluded that it will no longer maintain a full service studio in the Philippines," the company said in a statement to media outlets including UK trade site Develop. Kuju picked up the Manila studio with the acquisition of the Phillipines arm of video game outsourcing services provider Matahari Studios in 2008, expanding its Asian presence. Oddly, the Kuju Manila closure news today comes alongside unrelated confirmation to Gamasutra that Matahari's Indonesian offices are also closing, rendering Matahari Studios defunct. Its Indian parent company, LAI Games, continues to operate three other related subsidiaries, however. Kuju says the Manila studio successfully supported its European operations, which are comprised of UK studios Headstrong, Doublesix and Zoe Mode. Kuju Manila also released Wii title Circus Games to some succes. Nonetheless, "Kuju has concluded that, given the weakness of demand in this part of the video games market, the prospects for further titles of this type are limited," concluded the company's statement. The Manila office closure reduces Kuju's total offices to five. In addition to the three UK studios, it also has two studios overseas, including the Vatra studio in Czechoslovakia and Zoe Mode's San Francisco branch office.

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