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How do you draw schadenfreude?
May 4, 2012 1:45 PM   Subscribe

The Popularity of Draw Something crashes, just few weeks after being purchased by purchased by Zynga for $200 million, leading to one acrimonious resignation of a developer who didn't want to give up the rights to his personal project, a game called puzzle game called Connectrode (The ensuing twitter fight resulted in a callout of OMGPOP's CEO by Notch. This on the heals of Angry Birds maker Rovio turning down $2.25 billion to get bought out by them. ZNGA is down 43% since march 5th, and 12.3% since its IPO in December.
posted by delmoi (89 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
(Also, I thought we had a thread about the sale OMGPOP sale and flamewar, but I can't seem to find it, it might have just been a discussion in another thread. )
posted by delmoi at 1:47 PM on May 4, 2012


If someone wants to give you 2.25 billion, you say yes.
posted by odinsdream at 1:48 PM on May 4, 2012 [20 favorites]


If their stock drops much more, EA will attempt a hostile takeover.
posted by BYiro at 1:48 PM on May 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fad turns out to be fad.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:50 PM on May 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


I know that, for me at least, as soon as Zynga got mentioned in the same breath as Draw Something I had deleted it.
posted by smitt at 1:52 PM on May 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


It probably didn't help that you quickly got the same words to draw over and over again. There are only so many times you can draw "The Rapture" before it gets boring.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:53 PM on May 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


Anything terrible that comes Zynga's way, Zynga has probably earned. It's quite an accomplishment being an embodiment of striaght-up evil when you're a god-damned game company.
posted by kaibutsu at 1:53 PM on May 4, 2012 [28 favorites]


Zynga's New Ad Pitch for Draw Something: 'Draw This Brand'

Zynga's latest big-ticket acquisition has already figured out how to draw in users, but now Draw Something has an ad model that brings brands into the picture.

Until recently, the Pictionary-like game had only run spammy banner ads in its free mobile app that, including the paid no-ads version, has amassed a staggering 50 million downloads in five months. Now, with a direct-sales force that's been on the ground for a whole eight weeks, Draw Something is inserting advertisers' paid terms into the game for players to literally draw brands.

Here's how the game works: Pick a word from a list of three, then create a drawing so a Facebook friend can guess that word and you can win points. For the ad product, imagine inserting words like "Doritos" or "Coca-Cola" in among "golfer," "bikini" or "fireworks."

The National Hockey League is among the first advertisers to buy terms related to hockey, like puck, Zamboni, hat trick and slap shot, now that the Stanley Cup playoffs are under way. The NHL has been posting some of those drawings to Pinterest.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:53 PM on May 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


A few months ago, there was a really deep IAMA thread from a Zygna engineer on reddit. It pretty much confirmed my assumptions about the company. They are going to self-cannibalize and implode.
posted by hellojed at 1:56 PM on May 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


BP beat me to it.
As soon as I saw that AdAge piece about pushing advertiser names as words, I knew the end was nigh. You could practically hear them carving the headstone.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:56 PM on May 4, 2012


Has anyone beat Farmville yet?
posted by Xoebe at 1:57 PM on May 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


I don't know anything about "social gaming". Why is Zynga evil?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:57 PM on May 4, 2012


I totally told my fiance that paying 200mil for Draw Something was idiotic, because Draw Something would become stale in, oh, right about now. Which is why if he ever makes it big in the app world he's taking the first idiotic offer he gets or I will be very, very angry.
posted by lydhre at 1:58 PM on May 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


Zynga smelled blood in the water, but it was only OMGPOP jumping the shark.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:59 PM on May 4, 2012


So this is another bubble forming, right?
posted by carter at 2:00 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


How'd the blood get in the water then? Whose blood? I'm confused by your thought wearing another thought's hat.
posted by maryr at 2:00 PM on May 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


mr_robato: Previously.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:00 PM on May 4, 2012


So, Draw Something.

I really liked it when it first came out, but more than any other game app I've downloaded to my android, it was buggy as hell. Not only did it force quit itself a number of times, but it froze up so badly that I had to take the battery out to restart the phone.

Furthermore, the game play becomes tedious. I don't mean the actual play of the game itself, but the various "Round 34" screens between the games are a pain in the behind and make the game take forever. Also, the fact that there is no ability to speed things up a little (you have to watch the whole screen draw out and the only way to stop this is to guess it before its done) means that you have to commit to playing the game.

When I had five games going, this was awesome. When I had thirty games going, I dreaded opening up the app.

And then it froze up my phone one too many times and I said "fuck this."

I've moved on to Drawception (thanks to Metafilter) and my only complaint about it is that I can't play it on my phone. Which is also one of the advantages the game has, ironically enough.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:01 PM on May 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just downloaded it for the first time last week. It's fine in concept, but the wordlist is far too small and the pool of players too unreliable if you don't have a circle of friends already on the app.

A good alternative I've enjoyed is DoodleOrDie, which was featured here a few months ago but has improved a lot. The mechanics are slightly different -- it's more like Telephone than DrawSomething's one-on-one Pictionary -- but it scratches the same itch. Plus, it's playable on iOS in browser (no download required) and stores all your doodles and descriptions for posterity. It's also got a large subreddit community that keeps the quality level decent. And you don't have to pay money (or grind) to unlock premium features like the color green.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:02 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I loves me some schadenfreude.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:02 PM on May 4, 2012


I'm shocked that people eventually got bored of watching their cousins scrawl out "THING U PUT ON UR FEET" for the SHOES, or drawing TITANIC sink for the fifth time.
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:02 PM on May 4, 2012 [14 favorites]


Right now someone at Microsoft is pitching buying Zynga to a disinterested conference room.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:02 PM on May 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's quite an accomplishment being an embodiment of striaght-up evil when you're a god-damned game company.

Really? Because as much as Blizzard, Valve, et al, have a pretty solid reputation, EA alone ensures that "straight-up evil" will always be a perfectly unremarkable game-company adjective.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:03 PM on May 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is anybody else worried that all these hot-for-ten-minute phone fads, which mysteriously are valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions of dollars, moments after they appear, are actually heralding a new dot-com collapse, as these billions of dollars disappear up these supposed geniuses' asses?

I just feel like it's happening again, all this huge money chasing total bullshit, and when the music stops a handful of nimrods will be super-wealthy for no discernable reason and all the investors, and by extension the global economy, will be floating in the toilet get rained on.
posted by Fnarf at 2:03 PM on May 4, 2012 [19 favorites]


Zynga's evil because of their habit of stealing and remaking other people's/companies games sometimes down to the individual art bitmaps, mistreating employees and trying to sue their way through criticism. Not to mention attempts to use an incredibly dubious patent relating to online currency to derail competitors.

Simply put, they embrace practically every shady/evil gaming company complaint that has ever been put forth about gaming companies. I'm just surprised they haven't tried bundling a rootkit a la Sony with their softwares yet.
posted by barc0001 at 2:05 PM on May 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


Selfish people make bad games.

... says the guy who now works for Zynga.
posted by mhum at 2:06 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh well. Back to clicking cows.
posted by The Deej at 2:07 PM on May 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Oh well. Back to clicking cows.

"There is no cow level!"
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:14 PM on May 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


I wanted to do it, and then it seemed like it would automatically log into your Facebook and I didn't want to clog up my friends' Facebooks with that nonsense, and now all I see on failblog and similar sites is how shitty DrawSomething is, so I feel like that ship has sailed.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:14 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a good reason to turn down a $2.5B offer. You think you'll make more. And, to be honest, given the continung success of Angry Birds, I think Rovio's right.
posted by eriko at 2:15 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


"There is no cow level!"

Ten more days...
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:15 PM on May 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


posted by Celsius1414 at 14:14

I should really win something for this.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:17 PM on May 4, 2012 [26 favorites]


I'm shocked that people eventually got bored of watching their cousins scrawl out "THING U PUT ON UR FEET" for the SHOES, or drawing TITANIC sink for the fifth time.

OK, but you know what? You can't really tell in advance. I downloaded Angry Birds a year ago, had it on my phone for a week, and felt like, OK, I've exhausted the fun of this and I can't really imagine ever feeling like playing it again. According to the linked article it is still the #1 mobile game.

You just can't tell.
posted by escabeche at 2:19 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Celsius1414: "posted by Celsius1414 at 14:14

I should really win something for this.
"

By my count [looks at profile] it took you 567 tries to get it (or at least notice) so I'm not sure you should win much.

Hey let's market that, turn it into a social game, and make billions!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:20 PM on May 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


By my count [looks at profile] it took you 567 tries to get it (or at least notice) so I'm not sure you should win much.

Actually, now that I think of it, I have done it one other time, so you're right - no prizes for me.

Of course with my luck, it'd be shares of OMGPOP.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:23 PM on May 4, 2012


Yes, I also deleted the app the moment I heard that Zynga owned it.
posted by CrazyJoel at 2:25 PM on May 4, 2012


So, who else is psyched that they are finally adding weapon animations to Monks?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:36 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Calling Zynga "evil" helps no one. Zynga pays very well, and as a result employs many extremely talented developers (aided by the fortuitous timing of FarmVille's popularity explosion coinciding with massive layoffs at major studios near San Francisco; EA and LucasArts both cut ~10% of their employees around that time). Arguments against Zynga should be based on explicit problems, backed with evidence. Pointless namecalling only makes it easier to dismiss actual problems when they do arise.

You don't have to like Zynga or the games that they make, but if you actually care about the working conditions of developers, or industry creativity, then cite your sources.

Anyway, this article is frustratingly thin on WHY this is actually happening, but I doubt it has anything to do with the sale to Zynga or even the brand-themed words. Gameplay fundamentally not robust enough? Angry Birds Space eating too much time?
posted by GameDesignerBen at 2:45 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Calling Zynga "evil" helps no one. Zynga pays very well, and as a result employs many extremely talented developers ... You don't have to like Zynga or the games that they make, but if you actually care about the working conditions of developers, or industry creativity, then cite your sources.

I don't think anyone thinks Zynga is evil because of the way they treat developers. I think they think they're evil because of the way they treat their customers (i.e. by churning out uncreative clones that are designed to be addictive time and money-sinks).
posted by jedicus at 2:56 PM on May 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Has anyone beat Farmville yet?

Yup. I made the only winning move.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:56 PM on May 4, 2012 [96 favorites]


Calling the National Socialist Party "evil" helps no one. The National Socialists put into place many employment programs, and provided hope to hundreds of thousands of unemployed Germans, and also helped clothe people in nice brown shirts, just as other political parties were endorsing austerity measures in order to weather an ongoing worldwide economic malaise. Arguments against the National Socialist Party should be based on explicit problems, backed with evidence. Pointless namecalling only makes it easier to dismiss actual problems when they do arise.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:57 PM on May 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Words with friends.

3 words.

I love Zynga.

Sucki it, haters.
posted by chavenet at 3:00 PM on May 4, 2012


Godwinned!
posted by zombieflanders at 3:02 PM on May 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think they think they're evil because of the way they treat their customers (i.e. by churning out uncreative clones that are designed to be addictive time and money-sinks).

Doesn't change the fact that specific arguments are what is needed if the desire is to actually see things improve.

Calling the National Socialist Party "evil" helps no one.

I know this is a troll, but if the abuses of Zynga were as well documented as those of Nazism, I think that would be great.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 3:03 PM on May 4, 2012


Evil usually does pay better, because it will do things that are destructive, fraudulent, and exploitative in order to get itself money. It's the way of the world.

On the topic of Zynga, Jedicus nails it and GameDesignerBen completely misses the point. The good/evil axis here is about the games, not the makers.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:06 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


GameDesignerBen: "You don't have to like Zynga or the games that they make, but if you actually care about the working conditions of developers, or industry creativity, then cite your sources."

Zynga steals game concepts and makes it difficult for independent developers to succeed.
posted by boo_radley at 3:06 PM on May 4, 2012 [16 favorites]


You love Zynga because they photocopied a Scrabble board?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:08 PM on May 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wish I had waited a day before I downloaded this and started enjoying it. Had I known the backlash had started and I was supposed to hate it I could have saved two bucks.

I guess I'll go on enjoying it until I get bored of it. Probably next Tuesday based on my attention span for two dollar games.
posted by bondcliff at 3:09 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Scamming your players and using the cognitive science of addiction to build and maintain a customer base is, indeed, pretty uncool.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:13 PM on May 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm one of those old fuddy-duddies who's all like "WHAAA" when people talk about the valuation of phone app games. I actually have more close friends (4) who are big muckety-mucks in social gaming companies than I have friends who play social games (besides those 4: 0). Who the hell is shelling out money to buy more cows/pigs/what have you for a game on their phone?

Actually, now that I write it out, here's my real grievance: who the hell has the time to play these games?

#oldman
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:13 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I wish they photocopied a Scrabble board--if they had, you wouldn't be able to hit a TLS and a TWS on the same play.
posted by box at 3:16 PM on May 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Zynga's business model is basically "like X, but shit". Words With Friends is like Scrabble, but shit. FarmVille is like Majesty, but shit. DrawSomething, being like Pictionary, but shit, fits right in.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:19 PM on May 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think they think they're evil because of the way they treat their customers (i.e. by churning out uncreative clones that are designed to be addictive time and money-sinks).

Zynga is evil for creating games that tons of people play endlessly and their reasons for playing these games really annoy you.

Got it, Zynga's evil.
posted by xmutex at 3:28 PM on May 4, 2012


You love Zynga because they photocopied a Scrabble board?

Yup.
posted by chavenet at 3:32 PM on May 4, 2012


I'm not normally one to point at stock charts as meaning much, but check out this comparison of LinkedIn, Zynga, and Groupon to all of Nasdaq. Can you spot which of the recent IPOs is a real company and which two are basically scams?
posted by Nelson at 3:45 PM on May 4, 2012


I hate Words With Friends. It's a horrible implementation of Scrabble, and it baffles me that, although I am using more computing power than what sent men to the moon, the game won't tell me how many points a potential move is worth. (Apparently you can now buy this powerup as an in-app purchase.)

And yet, it's all my friends will play. So I play it.
posted by Legomancer at 4:03 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


If someone wants to give you 2.25 billion, you say yes.
They were offering that money because they thought it was worth it. Rovio is making plenty of money of Angry Birds, and they're actually making a fun, high quality game. I assumed because it was so popular that it would be some Farmville esque bullshit, but when I got a phone that could play it turned out that it wasn't just well made, it was actually a pretty difficult game (especially if you go for 3 stars). And Angry Birds space is really fun.

If Zynga bought it, they'd probably fuck it up, imagine advertiser themed levels, or something. Bleh.

Beyond that, the deal was probably for stock. This was before the IPO. If they'd taken the deal, they'd take on the risk for Zynga's stock not doing well. Which it hasn't been.
Zynga's latest big-ticket acquisition has already figured out how to draw in users, but now Draw Something has an ad model that brings brands into the picture.
Wow, that's sheisty as hell. Yuck.
So this is another bubble forming, right?
I had a bunch of links about a potential new bubble. But I figured they distracted from the post, and would be better as a separate FPP.
Right now someone at Microsoft is pitching buying Zynga to a disinterested conference room.
Lol.

---
Lately I've been playing this game called Economies of Scale that was featured on metafilter a month ago. It's a "cow clicker" like farmvile but the developer actually made it pretty interesting. And unlike a Zyga style cow-clicker you can set your own schedule for the next click, and change it whenever you want. Like farmvile, you can grow crops, but you can also dig mines and build factories as well - It also has an interesting 'world' where you buy and sell components of products to other players, and if you get really into it you can do an IPO or buy and sell stocks in 'publicly traded' companies. It's pretty fun.

Not that it would ever pose a threat to Zynga, but people are out there making games that are actually fun and aren't designed to extract as much money from the "player" as possible, even while appealing to the same game mechanics.
Zynga's evil because of their habit of stealing and remaking other people's/companies games sometimes down to the individual art bitmaps, mistreating employees and trying to sue their way through criticism. Not to mention attempts to use an incredibly dubious patent relating to online currency to derail competitors.
Makes me wonder why they bought this rather then making a clone. My guess is that it was PR driven. Get splashy headlines in the business news journal, stock price goes up. Making a clone and having it slowly become dominant thanks to Zynga's evil voodoo might have been the right choice for a private company, but wouldn't have much oomph as far as the stock price is concerned.

In fact, if you were the CEO or a high level employee, you could have put limit sell orders on your companies stock, so if it hit's a price, you'd sell right away, even if the value of the company didn't really go up that much. It wouldn't be insider trading, because the orders would be longstanding.

I wonder if that's illegal. Probably not. I'm sure Mark Pincus, the CEO prioritizes making himself rich at the expense of Zynga's shareholders.
Calling Zynga "evil" helps no one. Zynga pays very well, and as a result employs many extremely talented developers (aided by the fortuitous timing of FarmVille's popularity explosion coinciding with massive layoffs at major studios near San Francisco; EA and LucasArts both cut ~10% of their employees around that time). Arguments against Zynga should be based on explicit problems, backed with evidence. Pointless namecalling only makes it easier to dismiss actual problems when they do arise.
I think what bothers people is that they want video games to be art, or literature, or at least just uncompromised fun, the way Super Mario brothers was. Zynga makes games for the masses who never got into games, but they do it in such a crass and cynical way it comes across as kind of disgusting. They also screw over other competitors, plagiarizing their ideas and making worse.

Imagine if you slaved away for a year at a fantastic novel, and sold 10k copies. Then some hack who cares about nothing but cash took your plot, came up with a title and cover like yours added S&M vampires and sold 10 million copies. That wouldn't piss you off.

The aforementioned AMA, plus what you hear in general isn't that they treat their employees badly, it's that their employees feel guilty and kind of gross working there.
Zynga is evil for creating games that tons of people play endlessly and their reasons for playing these games really annoy you.
Do people actually enjoy Zynga games? There are lots of people who spend a lot of money on heroin and cocaine. And cigarettes. And while that while they really want it, when they don't have it, that doesn't mean they like it.

posted by delmoi at 4:04 PM on May 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


If someone wants to give you 2.25 billion, you say yes.

Second person much? Anyway, no one gives you that much money without strings attached, particularly strong and binding strings indeed. And there are things more important than money, like control of your own work, an essential fact that a lot of people are waking up to.

A good alternative I've enjoyed is DoodleOrDie, which was featured here a few months ago but has improved a lot.

Isn't that just mobile Eat Poop You Cat, one of those common games that everyone has remade with their own name and sometimes trademark?

Zynga is evil for creating games that tons of people play endlessly and their reasons for playing these games really annoy you.
Got it, Zynga's evil.


If that were true then Roxio would be evil. No, Zynga is evil for different reasons than that. Try again.
posted by JHarris at 4:05 PM on May 4, 2012


I'm not affiliated with the online gaming industry, but I spend a moderate amount of time rubbing elbows with "creative" types in San Francisco. It's basically impossible to not hear some account of how shitty the leadership of Zynga has conducted themselves, their business, or treated their employees. Knowing this, I shorted their stock, but unfortunately didn't time it right. I know this company is going fall hard. Too bad for the folks in the trenches that work there, but if you lie with dogs . . .
posted by quadog at 4:08 PM on May 4, 2012


Zynga steals game concepts

What's funny is that the "original" concept appears to draw its own inspiration from SimTower, all the way down to the sushi bar.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:08 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


To answer the (rhetorical) question in the title : Homer imagining the Leftorium going out of business.
posted by akash at 4:19 PM on May 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just a note, Words with Friends was also an acquisition:
http://venturebeat.com/2011/07/05/zynga-paid-53-3m-to-buy-words-with-friends-mobile-game-maker-newtoy/
posted by mulligan at 4:22 PM on May 4, 2012


To be fair, everyone steals game concepts. If someone stole my game concept and made it awesome, I wouldn't be too upset.

If someone stole my game concept and made it suck, and tuned it to maximum addictiveness instead of actually being fun, I'd be kind of pissed.

I am actually curious how many farmvile players actually enjoy it. They'd probably enjoy it a lot less then a lot of other games if the knew about them.

It almost seems like Zynga is farming users rather then try to provide them a great experience, they are simply trying to milk them for as much cash as possible. They're instrumentalize them in a way that's kind of disturbing to a lot of people.

I guess that's true of a lot of companies in lots of different industries, but maybe what makes it more disturbing is that they're not nickle and dimeing people for contents of their bank account, but in in a certain sense they are exploiting their very minds. Obviously that's just an interesting way to look at it, but it's easy to see why it creeps people out.

The thing is, Zynga's position could be used for a ton of good. Why not, instead of having people buy branded bottled water to get farmvile credits, give people credit for doing volunteer work in the community? What about having people earn credits by taking online classes and actually educating themselves about the world around them?

That's obviously not what's happening. SuperBetter and Epic Win are two games that "gamification" and try to manipulate people into doing what they actually want to do, and SuperBetter's developer wants to see games make the world a better place.

Zynga is the opposite of that. Rather then making games fun, they "gamify" nothing and use it to exploit their users.

There are obviously worse companies out there. But Zynga just seems kind of gross.

(I hate the term "gamification" btw. Bleh. )
posted by delmoi at 4:26 PM on May 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think calling Zynga "evil" is hyperbole, but that doesn't I don't cheer a little inside when their success falters, because I'd prefer someone with a different model succeed.
posted by flaterik at 4:43 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do people actually enjoy Zynga games? There are lots of people who spend a lot of money on heroin and cocaine. And cigarettes. And while that while they really want it, when they don't have it, that doesn't mean they like it.

This might be the dumbest comment in the history of Metafilter.
posted by xmutex at 5:45 PM on May 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ugh, heroin again? Boooooring
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:21 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


i hope someone heels my heals.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:30 PM on May 4, 2012


This might be the dumbest comment in the history of Metafilter.

*shrug*. There are obviously people who really, really like cocaine, heroin and cigarettes too. I've known at least one person who claimed to have been addicted to WoW, and she didn't describe it as a very pleasant experience -- according to her she backed off but still plays it a lot.

It seems unlikely to me that you couldn't find people who feel like they're addicted to farmville or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 8:30 PM on May 4, 2012


I enjoyed Words with Friends a lot more before Zynga monetized it, and I don't mean ads. I mean "allowed you to buy cheats". Similarly you can buy coins in Draw Something (which bothers me less since it's not a competitive advantage), but the Zynga problem is that they've added chat and other features that bog it down.

For me, casual phone games need to do one thing well and Zynga acquiring games I like seems to kill that singleness of purpose that characterizes a good phone game.
posted by immlass at 8:48 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: This might be the dumbest comment in the history of Metafilter.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:51 PM on May 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


You guys mentioning Words With Friends know that Zynga bought that company too, right? They didn't make that any more than they made Draw Something.
posted by sparkletone at 9:23 PM on May 4, 2012


Rovio won't get sold out anytime soon, I don't think. The Finnish news bits seem to imply that there's far too much reliance on their continued existence as a global Finnish superstar necessary for the mental health of the nation. Why? Their other global tech star is..er...imploding.
posted by infini at 10:24 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


What implosion are you talking about? Is something wrong with Linus?
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:06 PM on May 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing infini is referring to Nokia.
posted by dumbland at 11:12 PM on May 4, 2012


This might be the dumbest comment in the history of Metafilter.

Oh, not by a long shot.
posted by JHarris at 11:46 PM on May 4, 2012


Have to admit deleting Draw Something two days ago, partly because I found drawing with my fat fingers on a phone screen annoying, but mostly because I received a push notification telling me the words "babymomma" and "teenmom" had been added to the game.
posted by Jimbob at 12:31 AM on May 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


There have been dumber comments posted to MetaFilter than you can possibly imagine.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:17 AM on May 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I played this, it was addictive fun for literally two days and I haven't touched it since.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:56 AM on May 5, 2012


Not my kind of thing, so I never downloaded it, but I *did* have someone demo it for me.

She drew a really nice looking clothes iron for 'iron'. The other person guessed seemingly at random, never got it.
So now it's the other person's turn to draw and she says "ok, sometimes these guys come up with amazing stuff" and I watched the person slowly trace out "FUK U".

$200 million!
posted by unixrat at 7:24 AM on May 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Zynga? BAZINGA!
posted by Splunge at 10:16 AM on May 5, 2012


For those who are actively playing Draw Something, you might be interested in the recent Metatalk thread where you can find loads and loads of Mefite Draw Something buddies! Because playing with random internet strangers is the WORST.

That would be on my wish list for the Draw Something dev team: find a way to implement a karma system for players. Players would earn karma by following the social contract (not writing out the word, not just drawing a penis, etc).

Then when you click to start a random game, you would be matched with players who have the same karma ranking as yourself. This would let the cool players (like Mefites) play each other, and let the idiots (the YouTube commenters of the Draw Something world) grapple in pools of their own filth. And everyone would be happy.
posted by ErikaB at 11:39 AM on May 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The CONCEPT of Draw Something seemed like a lot of fun, I got it and I started playing it for a time, but my complaints are thus:

-Learning that the other person gets to watch you draw (and fuck up and start over, etc) made me extremely self conscious, as my drawing skills are only so-so, far less on an EVO screen with my finger. Yeah, you can skip it, but it made me feel really dumb after spending 10 minutes on "SANTA", having erased the canvas 3 or 4 times.

-There's no real 'barrier to entry'; as mentioned upthread a bit, there's only so many times you can spend more than X minutes trying to draw and shade and illustrate a word as best you can, only to have the other person either scrawl something completely incomprehensible in 3 seconds, or just write words on the screen. It's like trying to play Monopoly with someone who doesn't see any problem taking money straight out of the bank: games need some semblance of 'rules', and if the easiest way to win is to just write "TEENMOM" or "DORITOS" or whatever on the screen, why bother with effort?

-The word list is depressingly small, and again there's no real point to trying to be creative with the various ways you can illustrate "LOBSTER" if all you're going to get back is "fuk u" type stuff.

-The monetization is expected, but it's like, extra greedy. You get a grand total of 5 colors to work with to start, and the rate at which you earn 'coins' all but demands you shell out cash for 'color packs' (My Santa, for example, had blue skin)

-It is indeed buggy as hell. It crashed my phone more times than the bootleg MAME emulator I ran on there until I discovered that touchscreen controls kinda suck for games not designed for it.

-No ability to screencap/share ability built into the app. I know on some phones you can do a screen capture, but I don't want to root my EVO just so I can show off my brilliant 5 color rendering of "ELTON"

-Angry Birds Space came out, and is way more fun.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:44 AM on May 5, 2012


Uther Bentrazor, an excellent summary of the problems with Draw Something - but as to the last point, at least on the iPad version, after you click to send your drawing, the next screen has the option to "Save" in the lower right-hand corner. (Not sure about EVO, though!)
posted by ErikaB at 11:52 AM on May 5, 2012


No one's handing out suitcases full of cash. That's $2.25 billion worth of ZNGA stock. If that offer was made around March 5th, it's now worth $1.28 billion, and falling.
posted by CaseyB at 1:04 PM on May 5, 2012


-The monetization is expected, but it's like, extra greedy. You get a grand total of 5 colors to work with to start, and the rate at which you earn 'coins' all but demands you shell out cash for 'color packs' (My Santa, for example, had blue skin)
Wait, you have to pay for colors? Is that something OMGPOP did, or was that post-Zynga? Either way that's amazingly douchey.
No one's handing out suitcases full of cash. That's $2.25 billion worth of ZNGA stock. If that offer was made around March 5th, it's now worth $1.28 billion, and falling.
I think it was some time last year. It was pre-IPO, so it would have been based on their own valuation estimate. Which they did need to revise downward at some point, I think.
posted by delmoi at 2:39 PM on May 5, 2012


I quit wwf soon after zynga bought it, and I quit draw something immediately after zynga bought it. They're sleazy.

You dont quit Vince McMahon! Vince McMahon QUITS YOU!
posted by Dreamghost at 4:27 PM on May 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


To add to Uther Bentrazor's list:

- I haven't played it on Android, but on iOS it has text boxes which aren't text boxes (and it crashes a lot). $200m hells yeah.
posted by dumbland at 5:30 PM on May 5, 2012


[Please try to make your point without casual slurs. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 5:42 PM on May 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


You don't have to like Zynga or the games that they make, but if you actually care about the working conditions of developers, or industry creativity, then cite your sources

They're not going to hire you dude.
posted by nzero at 6:38 PM on May 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


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