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Zyngapocalypse Now
July 31, 2012 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Both inside and outside the walls of Facebook, the story of social games has become one of dead geese and golden eggs, flatlined growth, formulaic games and shady practises. Many warned that the sector was slowing down, but sometimes giants need to fall. It needs to get bad enough before people start to really consider what's next... So what comes next?
posted by Artw (61 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's disorienting that Zynga's silly diversions are called "social games" when they're actually neither.
posted by clockzero at 12:00 PM on July 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


Related: Awesome interview with the creator of Cow Clicker, a Zynga parody that contained all of the manipulative, lizard-brain aspects of Zynga games, but no actual game.

http://www.npr.org/2011/11/18/142518949/cow-clicker-founder-if-you-cant-ruin-it-destroy-it
posted by braksandwich at 12:03 PM on July 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


What comes next is a class-action lawsuit alleging Zynga investors pumped and dumped boocoodles of stock before the price cratered.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:03 PM on July 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


I essentially said that the main problem in social games was that the product was almost identical across all providers, and that social game makers had trapped themselves into thinking that it had to be so.

That's actually not the main problem with social games. The main problem with social games is that they're stupid.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:05 PM on July 31, 2012 [10 favorites]


Zynga games are about as fun as Clippy the MicroSoft Paperclip... "I see you're trying to play a game...would you like me to show you how to spend money instead?"
posted by sexyrobot at 12:07 PM on July 31, 2012 [40 favorites]


BitterOldPunk: "What comes next is a class-action lawsuit alleging Zynga investors pumped and dumped boocoodles of stock before the price cratered.
"

Ask your friends to help you with your stock price or it could go lower!!! Do you want to post on your wall now?
posted by boo_radley at 12:10 PM on July 31, 2012 [25 favorites]


I stopped playing Zynga games mostly because the pacing of quests were terrible. Way too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Effectively forcing you to pay cash.

I got ticked off one day and said to hell with it.
posted by royalsong at 12:12 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


For Zynga there will be probably be calls to shutter many of its studios in the name of efficiency and refocusing. This will probably then be followed by talks of acquisition, perhaps by Marissa Mayer's Yahoo, at 50 cents on the IPO dollar.

That should turn things around at Yahoo.
posted by Egg Shen at 12:15 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


The linked article mentions "bellweather." In that case, I think I need a sturdier umbrella.
posted by etc. at 12:18 PM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


The only thing innovative about these games is the ways they could ensnare people and trick them into spending money, and for this Silicon Valley crowned them savior and king, which shows that cynicism has trumped idealism at last. The ultra-monetized "Generation 1" social gaming industry is a parasite, same as gambling and tobacco, and I'm not at all sad to see it hurting, and looking forward to a "Generation 2" that enriches the lives of its users.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:19 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


The main problem with social games is that they're stupid.

Or, to be charitable, they appeal to an unsophisticated audience -- an audience that for the most part has never played computer games before (beyond Windows Solitaire). That's your core Facebook audience, too. That's what Facebook is FOR, connecting people who have no reason to ever find other corners of the internet to meet up in. Like my relatives! Or people I used to know before I found my place, both in life and on the internet. Those people are not "gamers", and never will be (neither am I, but I understand the concept at least). They play social games because they're easy and brightly colored and never go anywhere -- they don't require any kind of long term commitment. They appeal to people who play modern slot machines in casinos, for instance.

But there is a limited supply of those people, and they've all been there and done that, and now they're bored. They're not going to play more interesting games; they're going to find something else to do entirely.
posted by Fnarf at 12:23 PM on July 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I chortle in the joy of watching Zynga fail.
posted by FuturisticDragon at 12:26 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Still reading the article but a couple of things strike me immediately...

That this is tagged design (and its there in the article/url as well)

That people I know and respect in the design field popped up in Zynga via LinkedIn's "So and so has updated their profile"

This makes me uncomfortable. I'm not yet sure why or how (and going back to finish the article).
posted by infini at 12:27 PM on July 31, 2012


As Social Sites' Shares Fall Some Hear Echo of 2000.
posted by ericb at 12:27 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Znyga make games (cool!), use node.js (cool!) and are based in Seattle (I live there!)... all of this is outweighed by "is Zynga", but I can see how folks end up there.
posted by Artw at 12:29 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


I got no beef with Zynga, how many hours did I waste in Diablo 2 farming slightly better loot and in Ultima Online carving crossbow after crossbow for virtual gold. How many posts do I see online about people spending years and thousands of dollars on WoW or hats in TF2.

Zynga is in a symbiotic relationship with Facebook. Like it or not, at this moment, they live and die together. People bought Zynga stock as a proxy for facebook. Now Facebook stock can be bought, and even that isn't going so hot. Zynga, the poor man's Facebook stock, isn't going to fare any better.

They need to extricate themselves from facebook somehow, and hope they can get some goodwill back from the gaming community, which reviles them. \

My proposal: Zynga Signature, a game "imprint" that publishes indie and prestige games. Start with Project Zomboid or something. Give small teams funding, advice and exposure. One of these games is going to be the next Angry Birds so get in while the gettin in is good.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:30 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


The obsession with tactics is directly related to the obsession with metrics, and this leads to a culture which devalues original thinking. Social games have the exact same problem as network television in that respect, in that there are far too many quants running the show, demanding numeric proof for decisions. Quants understand little to nothing of why players play games, and reduce everything to the kind of extriniscally motivated decisions that Daniel Pink described in Drive, and all of the problems that go with them. Day to day numbers govern everything, so the only permissible decisions are the ones which hurt or help those numbers on any given day. Timidity rules.

And timidity is precisely the problem.

posted by infini at 12:36 PM on July 31, 2012


One of the saddest experiences of my professional life is watching a talk given by Brian Reynolds (of Alpha Centauri fame, now with Zynga) where he defended the practice of lacing Facebook spam with juvenile innuendo so that users were more likely to click.

This, from a person who designed a game where one of the objectives was to transcend into a post-human era and achieve the singularity. My, how the bar has lowered.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:43 PM on July 31, 2012 [15 favorites]


use node.js (cool!)

Hopefully this too will pass.
posted by flaterik at 12:46 PM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Some of the top-ranked games in the iPhone App Store are just app-ified versions of the same stupid "games," only gussied up a little to look nice as native apps, and with in-app purchases (IAPs).

They're free, so they get downloaded a lot, and they move along at a decent clip in the early stages. Eventually, they slow progress down enough to make it impossible unless you turn on all the game's push notifications and let it bedevil you during the rare window when you can take an action. If you don't present yourself to the game in the right window, you just get stuck until another window opens. Alternately, you can toss in $1 or $5 or $10 for an IAP of in-game currency that will move things along and get you over those bumps.

One really great thing that has come out of that for everyone not pulling that crap: I generally ignore free games now, unless the only IAPs I see are to upgrade a free demo to a full version. If I see any IAPs for in-game currency, I skip it because I'm being asked to download a slot machine with pretty pictures and no payouts. Similarly for the more subtle but still shitty in-game hardware improvements. That just means my free Viper XL hovering battle platform will eventually end up in an area where the Goliath Z90 MechaBot will crush it unless I decide to pay to unlock more gear with an IAP. One exception to IAPs generally being a warning sign that I can think of: Kingdom Rush sells a collection of heroes for $1 each, but you don't need them to win.

The people who are benefitting from my newfound discrimination are people like Tiger Style games, who make the awesome Waking Mars: A real game that doesn't hate me and merely asks for a one-time up-front payment.

I worked for a performance marketing company for a while, and remember how people there talked about the lead-gen sites they were setting up: Once you're dealing with huge numbers of people, they stop being people. They just start being a collection of numbers in the weekly analytics rundown who are either doing what you want or not doing what you want. Even if you don't hate them, exactly, you don't like them when they don't do what you want, which is click buttons and give up their email addresses and generally qualify themselves as leads. You end up spending your time thinking about how to manipulate them into doing those things, celebrating 1- and 2-point improvements in their behavior and congratulating yourself for making them do what you want. Zynga and its cousins in the game industry remind me of that.
posted by mph at 12:48 PM on July 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


Social games do not bring people together. Most players in fact play them in a largely single-player fashion, making contact purely for reasons of necessity like trading, earning Energy and so on.

Amen to that. This is why I don't play any of them. I've got far more interesting games with far more interesting engines that don't require me to bug my friends for input every thirty seconds.
posted by valkyryn at 12:51 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Once you're dealing with huge numbers of people, they stop being people. They just start being a collection of numbers in the weekly analytics rundown who are either doing what you want or not doing what you want. Even if you don't hate them, exactly, you don't like them when they don't do what you want,

mph, thank you. This explains my current ennui with my work (the BoP! all 4 billion of them! Any product will change millions of lives! Woo hoo!) and recently fired (Sunday night email) client.
posted by infini at 12:54 PM on July 31, 2012


What comes next? I'll tell you what comes next: Day Z.

Only, this time, using a more competent engine and better spawn placement.

There are an unholy number of cool-ass ways to connect "social" platforms with genuine co-op gaming, and it simply kills me to see all this crap being pumped out instead. Goddammit.

Aaaarrrrgghhh!
posted by aramaic at 12:54 PM on July 31, 2012


I can't run Arma II but I've watched probably 8hrs worth of Day-Z gameplay here. It is really something that is is so compelling that not only will SideStrafe play it but thousands of people will watch despite the fact that it is so buggy and not in any way fun. He spends hours crawling through grass, running, or just creeping around in the darkness. It has got to be the imersion of the ArmA engine. The fact that he can look over his shoulder while running is a great feature.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:11 PM on July 31, 2012


Egg Shen: "That should turn things around at Yahoo."

This comment reminds me that there was a role playing game system where everything was a d100 table (Rolemaster, I think?) , and one of them was essentially "Terrible ways to die" and there was an entry of "Player character spends 1d6 rounds stumbling in a circle looking for a suitable place to die, and then does."
posted by boo_radley at 1:12 PM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


The author is insightful in many respects, but I feel that he's making the same sort of mistake that he accuses the publishers of making — assuming a one-size-fits-all for gamers. He's right that the publishers are wrong in thinking that all players are interested in socializing, or status, or a complex virtuality. But then he seems to be arguing that players are all primarily interested in achieving for its own sake — not necessarily power gamers, but that everyone has the same motivations as power gamers.

It's like both the publishers and this writer have never heard of Richard Bartle's multiplayer gamer taxonomy. Some players are primarily interested in socializing. Some players are primarily interested in doing well. Some players are primarily interested in exploring whatever is possible within the game. Some players are primarily interested in defeating other human opponents.

Each type has the tendency to assume that everyone else shares their primary interest.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:17 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


One more thing about DayZ. The developer, Rocket, is some kind of genius.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:18 PM on July 31, 2012


Very good point, Ivan. The best massively multiplayer games are sufficiently deep and rich to allow for multiple styles of play within the same universe, which is what creates real "social" gameplay. Looking at Bartle's well-aged work, it's basically the entire bottom half of the map that has been obliterated by G1 games (and contemporary MMOs are equally guilty).
posted by mek at 1:21 PM on July 31, 2012


The shortcomings of FB are those of Woodstock. One size does not fit all... even if the dictatorship were benevolent.
posted by Twang at 1:24 PM on July 31, 2012


The only thing that I know about Zygna games is how to block them in Facebook. For a while it seemed like there was a new one every week to block but I haven't seen too many lately.
posted by octothorpe at 1:48 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks everybody for reading my post!
posted by tiedtiger at 1:58 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Related: Awesome interview with the creator of Cow Clicker, a Zynga parody that contained all of the manipulative, lizard-brain aspects of Zynga games, but no actual game.

Heh, I'm friends with Ian on FB and I was there when it launched. The Wired article tells a bit more.

I, too, continue to click on my empty space. I currently have 27 clicks. I only need 973 more to get to level 2 (bronze). I currently am empty cow/empty cowbell. Click on me!

Shit Crayons is a fun critique of Zynga and its ilk:

"Behold the creators who rant at you for respect today. Feet up by the pools of their game design retirement communities, vesting on our souls, they briefly celebrate the turds their sphincters spin before squeezing them over the precipice, where they fertilize flowers in the garden of decay."
posted by mrgrimm at 2:53 PM on July 31, 2012


They need to extricate themselves from facebook somehow

What actual assets does Zynga have aside from its relationship with Facebook?
posted by mrgrimm at 2:54 PM on July 31, 2012


I also didn't see any links about the insider-trading claims:

"Following news that Zynga insiders sold large amounts of stock three months before it crashed this week, multiple law firms have announced that they will investigate claims against the CityVille makers for violating federal securities laws and breaching fiduciary duty."

See ya.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:56 PM on July 31, 2012


Electronic Arts Delivers a Strong Q1 That’s in Line With Expectations Unlike Zynga.
posted by ericb at 2:59 PM on July 31, 2012


I chortle in the joy of watching Zynga fail.

I use the weird but functional-for-me method of typing 'fb' into google to get to Facebook. Since the IPO, I get to chortle every time, as Google shows the FB stock dropping in value every time I see it. Makes me feel all mimsy inside.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 3:00 PM on July 31, 2012


In related news: EA Making Star Wars Game Free After Subscriptions Dip Below One Million.
posted by ericb at 3:01 PM on July 31, 2012


How gaming's demographics reverted back to 2005 -- "New survey wording more accurately reflects changing game market."
posted by ericb at 3:07 PM on July 31, 2012


What actual assets does Zynga have aside from its relationship with Facebook?

Well, of the top grossing apps in the App Store right now...

#6 Poker by Zynga
#21 and #42 Scramble With Friends
#36 Slots by Zynga
#41 Matching With Friends
#60 Draw Something
#88 Words With Friends
#182 & #196 Hanging With Friends

... those are just the ones I recognize, and just within the top 200. I suspect as long as they can continue making(/buying/cloning) successful mobile games, they'll probably do all right, regardless of what happens on the Facebook side...
posted by kira at 3:09 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


#88 Words With Friends

I play a lot of this. Never gave them any money though, except for buying the app. Thanks Zynga!
posted by chavenet at 3:29 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


The article was interesting, but also slightly exasperating in banging the drum of the 'G2' social games. I can just imagine scores of Keynote presentations being updated right now around the world with the five easy steps on how to create a G2 social game by means of, say, parallelising Triple Town or turning Harvest Moon into an MMO or whatever. Consultants, man: if it was that easy to make a good game, we'd all be doing it (and I say this having given many of these presentations myself).

Anyway, I've played a hell of a lot of social games. I started with Farmville and managed to achieve my goal of beating 90% of my friends through sheer bloody-minded stamina and min/maxing, at no small annoyance to my girlfriend who had to put up with me returning to the computer every few hours.

Then I moved onto Frontierville because it was supposedly 'better' and likewise got pretty far in it, to the point where I succeeded in my personal goal of getting rid of all the trees and weeds (which is kind of a clever if evil tactic on the designers' part to keep people like me playing). But I recall thinking that Frontierville, despite its incredible shininess and points and such flying everything, was oddly unsatisfying and bizarrely complicated. So off I went to...

Cityville. Perhaps one of the more interesting Zynga games (relatively speaking), since it had a bit of genuine strategy baked into it in terms of how you laid out your city to maximise the benefits of things like parks and other city improvements, plus it had one of the better difficulty curves that hey've made. I made a pretty damn big city and of course did optimal packing, and I have to admit that it was fun to see how my friends had laid out their cities. Indeed, one of the attractions of Farmville was how it allowed people to be surprisingly creative with their farm layout, even though - or perhaps despite - layout had no gameplay meaning in the game.

Around the time I was hitting the wall with Cityville (i.e. it was taking more than a 3-4 days to level up), Empires and Allies came out. This was touted as being Zynga's first 'proper game' and I think Brian Reynolds had also joined Zynga around then - Brian being the designer of Civ 2 and SMAC, two of my favorite games of all time. So I thought, hey, maybe they've cracked it - a Zynga game with real gameplay.

Two minutes after I started playing, Empires and Allies told me to place a barracks here and hit it five times with my hammer to construct it. Then I would have to wait until my action points replenished. It was exactly like Cityville, and at that moment, if I had more money and someone from Zynga was watching, I would have hurled my computer out of my window. As it was, I just vowed never to play a Zynga game again because I was sick of their bullshit 'gameplay' and sick of their manipulation.

More importantly, I was disgusted that I had wasted so much time - dozens if not hundreds of hours - on an experience that was almost entirely worthless. Worthless from an artistic perspective, worthless from an educational perspective, and worthless from a social perspective. I would never recommend to anyone to play a Zynga game because I don't want them to hate themselves like I did after playing one.

A while ago, I read an essay by Ronald Dworkin about what makes for a good life. He said something that I found very affecting:
"We value great art most fundamentally not because the art as product enhances our lives but because it embodies a performance, a rising to artistic challenge. We value human lives well lived not for the completed narrative, as if fiction would do as well, but because they too embody a performance: a rising to the challenge of having a life to lead."
It reminded me of another view from people like Philip Pullman, that a good life is being able to tell a good story of your life afterwards. Now, social games are thankfully only a comparatively small part of people's lives right now, certainly compared to TV. But they are a small part of a hell of a lot of people's lives, and I submit that they do not rise to any performance. They are not part of a good life.

Most business people don't give a shit about a good life. They just want to make money. Maybe you didn't start out like that but that's how you end up, especially if you take VC money or go public. So I don't expect them to be swayed by this argument.

However, I do expect that game designers would listen, because crucially, the creation of most social games is also not a performance. It is not daring, it is not rising to any challenge. It's dull. Anyone playing a Zynga game or the hundreds of copycats could tell that. And I think game designers really do care about this. We want to make art.

I can't come up with a definitive list of what makes a game 'good'. Just as it's foolish to fill out a list of 'graphics', 'sound', 'story', and 'gameplay' and then average the numbers to come out with some definitive judgement of how good it is, I can't do that on a more abstract level. Only an individual can. So here are some questions you might want to ask yourself about the games you make:

- Would you play it? And would you buy it?
- Would you be proud to tell your (hypothetical) grandchildren about it?
- Will its players feel that playing it was a worthwhile use of their time?
- Will its players remember it in a month? A year? Ten years? And what will they think about it?

Not all of my games pass this test. In fact, very, very few do. But I'm trying.
posted by adrianhon at 3:37 PM on July 31, 2012 [20 favorites]


Zynga is based in San Francisco but has offices in Seattle and a bunch of other cities.
posted by grouse at 3:47 PM on July 31, 2012


Give Zynga a break. As PKD would have told you, the only thing that their game layouts are missing is CAN-D.
posted by Ardiril at 3:53 PM on July 31, 2012


sorry, don't know how I missed the fourth fucking comment in the thread ...
posted by mrgrimm at 4:06 PM on July 31, 2012


Not all of my games pass this test. In fact, very, very few do. But I'm trying.
posted by adrianhon at 6:37 PM on July 31

One thing sprang to mind when I read your comment about a good life being the meeting of the challenge of creating, and the rules that you listed. The closest gaming thing that I can think of currently that comes close to meeting these criteria is Minecraft.

(link to Wikipedia, because I didn't want anyone to think I was trying to sell it.)
posted by FireballForever at 5:12 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Minecraft is less a game than a platform for games. The best games, WC2, most of the Civ series, Doom etc... Are all like this.
posted by bonehead at 5:32 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm glad someone mentioned Minecraft. It seems like we have seen two new funding models as well as game types recently. Free To Play and Minecraft style.

Ignoring the pending 1.3 "adventure update" for a minute, Minecraft has so far had a distinct lack of narrative, story and geegaws. It has relied on emergent gameplay ( the players "making their own fun") set up a few tools that allow the user to effect change on the world and set them loose. There was no story, Minecraft guy could be anyone, digging and building (or not digging and building) for any reason you chose. His only in game motivation is survival. He is truely a blank slate, his motivations are your motivations. Even that lack of starting items works to this effect, nothing to cause you to stop and think "who is this video game character that has a pickaxe, where did the pickaxe come from". Any goals are defined by you, you survive and build, or not.

I think DayZ is distinctly "Post Minecraft", there is no story, no goal, no progress, only survival. You are alive, or not. Any goals or progress you may make is defined by the player, you aquire food, water, a gun. You get no score , you just continue to play.Rocket has stated that he will not add narrative to the game, the characters motivations will be your own.

The problem is "endgame" once you survive what can you do? In minecraft you can build ever larger monuments, you can grief. In DayZ there is nothing, only a series of setbacks until you inevitably die.

This is a game style and a funding model. You pay a small upfont price to experience the experience.

Free To Play on the other hand, relies on an entire set of motivations, goals and features defined by the game. Plateaus the player can work or pay to reach. The game style and funding model go hand in hand, the fun, and achievement can be aquired for a price.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:42 PM on July 31, 2012


Really odd turn for me reading the linked NYTimes story on the facebook share price drop is the best part of the article was the very last bit:

In other words, the bubble will not pop, because this time it is different.

In an e-mail sent to founders last month, Paul Graham, the co-founder of Y Combinator, an influential start-up incubator, warned of possible headwinds. But Friday he said in effect not to worry — at least not yet.

“It’s too early to notice any effect on valuations,” Mr. Graham said. “Personally though, I have a lot of confidence in Facebook. I expect this is just a random fluctuation.”

posted by bukvich at 6:10 PM on July 31, 2012


I wasn't aware Poker was the best-performing Zynga game. That's interesting if you think about it - the thing Cow Clicker latches on to is the grind, the gradual level-up that defines a lot of social games. You can sell grind - Dragon Quest is still going strong - but it's being beat out by games that don't even need a computer.

You can't level up in poker or Scrabble - you can only get better at playing it, because it's a game, and not fence-painting. Buying an advantage with time or money is just cheating.

I hope someone learns from that, because I don't think Zynga has.
posted by 23 at 6:16 PM on July 31, 2012


You *can* level up in games like Zynga Poker though, because you start with a small number of chips and get more, letting you play higher "stakes". Pretty sure you can buy chips, whether from zynga themselves or other players, I don't know.
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:51 PM on July 31, 2012


Ars Technica: Class-action lawsuit details alleged insider trading at Zynga
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:15 PM on July 31, 2012


Zynga is not that big of a deal for Facebook. It only makes up like 15% of revenue.

The story that got my attention today was where an advertiser claimed that 80% of clicks on their Facebook ads were from bots. If that continues, Facebook is in much bigger trouble.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:24 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ars Technica: Class-action lawsuit details alleged insider trading at Zynga

What do you expect when the company's culture is "do evil"?
posted by cotterpin at 2:03 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is the cost per acquisition for social games. The theory is that these games spread virally and thus don't need any substantial advertising or marketing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Zynga, GREE, all the freemium guys, spend a heck of a lot of money on acquiring users via advertising, affiliates, etc.

So even if you see them doing well in the Top Grossing rankings on the iTunes Store, they may be making much less money than you think. I'm still pretty sure they're doing well, but as the competition heats up (if it's easy for Zynga to rip people off, that means other people can do it as well) then this strategy of buying users doesn't work so well.

Indeed, Minecraft and DayZ feel more genuinely viral to me since I doubt they spent a penny on advertising or marketing (and if you don't like 'viral' then 'word of mouth' is fine).

Incidentally, I think what we're seeing with those two games is the result of it being much easier to make multiplayer open-world-style games. It's not that a big studio couldn't have made them 5 or 10 years ago, but they wouldn't have wanted to risk developing such original games. But a couple of people starting it out in their spare time? They have a much lower barrier for success, meaning they have much more licence to be imaginative. No doubt we'll see many more such games, also thanks to Kickstarter and the like.
posted by adrianhon at 2:11 AM on August 1, 2012


Meanwhile, popcap is still chugging along, producing great, non-sleazy casual games that don't insult your intelligence or force you to harass your friends or spend money. They deserve more credit for that.
posted by empath at 6:05 AM on August 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I stopped playing Draw Something after Zynga pushed through the new licensing agreement, demanding a licence to use any content the users make in any way they see fit. Fuck you very much, Zynga; you're not getting my drawing of UKULELE, FLIRT or DAFTPUNK for your douchey ad campaigns.
posted by acb at 6:43 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The story that got my attention today was where an advertiser claimed that 80% of clicks on their Facebook ads were from bots. If that continues, Facebook is in much bigger trouble.

Heh, I'd say Google is in just as much trouble if that continues. Sometimes I think the entire Internet industry is run on click fraud.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:18 AM on August 1, 2012


Re: a dead quaker's link:

Facebook Responds to Accusations of Click Fraud, Holding Page Name Hostage

also:

Limited Run and Facebook from Click Fraud Fun.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:24 AM on August 1, 2012


I'm considering studying Social Gaming for my dissertation, and the recent dive in the market has put me on the fence about it. On the one hand looking at the motivations and drives of the people who stick around even after the popularity has burst would be fascinating, and on the other hand I want my research actually have some enduring value.
posted by codacorolla at 10:40 AM on August 2, 2012


David Ko, Steve Chiang To Oversee Zynga Game Development.
posted by ericb at 10:53 AM on August 2, 2012


EA/Maxis Sue Zynga for Copyright Infringement (press release via gamefilter)
posted by jepler at 11:34 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


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