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Facebook Businesses Games

Facebook and Zynga Move Apart 64

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-go-together-like-chocolate-and-peanut-shells dept.
another random user writes with news that Facebook and Zynga have altered their business arrangement to become less closely intertwined. Zynga.com will no longer be promoted on the social networking site, and Zynga won't have to show ads for Facebook. "Zynga is the developer behind Farmville, a game once mostly played on Facebook, which at its peak attracted 82 million players a month. Zynga now has its own games platform, but players will no longer be able to share their progress on Facebook. Zynga's share price fell by 13% in after-hours trading following the news. It is the latest blow for the company, which last month announced job cuts and studio closures. ... Facebook said the move would bring its relationship with Zynga in line with other games studios. ... Recent figures suggest 80% of Zynga's revenue comes from Facebook users."
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Facebook and Zynga Move Apart

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  • Does anyone really think that less people will play farmville just because people can't share their progress on facebook? Zynga probably already has their own back-end for players to communicate with each other.
    • Re:Share prices... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:19PM (#42144637)

      Yes, a significant amount. Farmville works by spamming your friends to join and send you stuff.

    • by obi1one (524241)
      The sharing of progress on facebook reminded people to go play the game and introduced new people to the game.
      • Re:Share prices... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:44PM (#42145049)

        I started out playing Words With Friends on Facebook - but it's almost as if they are TRYING to annoy their users and the users' friends. Ads everywhere, constant prods to share each move, ludicrous "achievements" (that of course they want posted to your timeline)...

        Using the tablet app is a much better way to go. I ignore FB game invites anymore; if I'm interested in the opponent, I'll explain how they can play against a mobile user from FB.

    • by Megahard (1053072)

      Zynga probably already has their own back-end for players to communicate with each other.

      Gee, I wonder where they got that idea?

    • Yes. People will play less Farmville and less Zynga games if they are not there on the screen reminding them about their farm/whatever when they check their facebook page every 5 minutes.

      People will play existing games less and be less exposed to new games resulting in a death spiral that is impossible to get out of.

      Remember, Zynga has never made a single "good" game - plenty of profitable and popular games - but largley as a result of placement and spread through facebook. Nobody I know ever got a Zynga ga

      • by fyngyrz (762201)

        Nobody I know ever got a Zynga game outside of facebook besides Words with Friends on the iPhone.

        I play Chess with friends all the time (as well as Words with friends.) Between the two, I've usually got 4-5 games going with people I know. And I'm not on Facebook, never have been, never expect to be.

        So maybe it's more about who you know than a general case you can make.

        They'll just be another crappy company making crapy flash games

        Funny, I was under the impression that Flash didn't run under IOS, and there

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        Remember, Zynga has never made a single "good" game - plenty of profitable and popular games - but largley as a result of placement and spread through facebook. Nobody I know ever got a Zynga game outside of facebook besides Words with Friends on the iPhone.

        You must not know many people. I play Words, Hanging Free, Scramble Free, and DrawSomething on my iPhone. All of them the free versions. I hate ads, but MOST of the time the ads are tolerable and short enough that it's not even worth $.99 (when they l

    • Re:Share prices... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:34PM (#42144911) Journal

      Does anyone really think that less people will play farmville just because people can't share their progress on facebook? Zynga probably already has their own back-end for players to communicate with each other.

      My impression(based on the rate at which they churn out new art variants and other slight tweaks, as well as the high attrition and fairly low real-money-user portion) is that they aren't so much worried about "fewer players", since most players pay nothing; but less new blood. Zynga relies on having a low barrier to entry and continuous 'social' spamming to provide an influx of new players, some modest percentage of which will be retained or monetized. Cut off the flow, and you then just have attrition.

  • "shares fell 13% in after-hours trading". It's still 1pm in NYC.
  • by gatfirls (1315141) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:16PM (#42144579)
    How much of their "sit on FB all day" crowd is playing Zynga games? What is the spend per user for a FB only user versus a Zynga + FB user? My anecdotal evidence suggests that a demographic of people who will spend 5$ for a fake chair in a game is a advertisers wet dream. But hey, I'm not a CEO of a 58billion...err I mean 55billion....ooops took to long to type that 50billion...aw screw it. A big company.
    • Both internet companies have been trying to reduce their reliance on each other, Zynga wants to start its own Zynga.com platform, and Facebook want to work with other games developers. This could be a very bad move for both companies as Zynga games is a big draw for Facebook and Zynga is now competing with other games and game sites. Zynga gets opportunity to operate their own standalone gaming website, but gives up its ability to promote its site on Facebook and to draw from the thriving social network o
      • by gatfirls (1315141)
        It sounds like the corporate version of "Hey we're completely happy, but we should date other people to make sure we are right for each other."
      • by iroll (717924)

        > Zynga games is a big draw for Facebook

        I want some of what you're smoking.

  • Oh well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Nothing of value will be lost if farmville and the scum that created it die.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Zynga + Facebook could've been an amazing combination for the casual gaming market. Combined, they might actually make a profit.

  • by alen (225700) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:27PM (#42144787)

    the management is morons. for years they stuck to flash to make development easier and faster and ignored mobile. i used to play mafia wars and farmville and others to kill time, but the problem was you had to do it on a computer. work blocked facebook for a long time. that meant at home i had to take out my laptop, boot it up, get into facebook and the game just to play the 15 minutes or so before they wanted money. on my iphone i just unlock the phone and play

    playing the zynga games once a day meant it took months to get anything done, got boring really fast. and they cranked out new games every other month

    meanwhile gameloft, rovio and others built mobile games and then added facebook and other social features and are now printing money

    • i had to take out my laptop, boot it up, get into facebook

      Learn to use suspend or sleep mode. Once that's set up, you can just lift the lid, key in your user account's password, and already have a browser open to Facepalm^W Facebook.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Learn to use suspend or sleep mode. Once that's set up, you can just lift the lid

        Lift the lid? That's too much work; forget it.

  • But such a short record ... Well, I've been a gamer for decades and the one thing which is often the case is companies have One Hit and perhaps some minor successes, but there are very, very few Activisions and EAs. Zynga had a pretty good game with Farmville, but after that they fit the mold of the former more than the latter.

    Just a matter of time before I can go to their liquidation sale and pick up a new office chair for home.

    • by DeDmeTe (678464)
      Had a pretty good game with Farmville? You mean they did a pretty good job of copying/ripping off Farm Town? I'm quite happy to see Zynga go rigtht down the toilet. They deserve it. Even Mafia Wars was a copy cat of another game.
    • by Roobles (1880882)
      Zygna has office chairs? Based on the anecdotal accounts I've heard of them, I assumed they had their employees sitting on milk crates.
    • by alen (225700) on Friday November 30, 2012 @01:49PM (#42145149)

      activision and EA are publishers, they don't develop many games themselves

      the games are developed by smaller studios. problem is you need to pay people before the game ships along with paying for millions of copies of games to be printed and boxed before you sell a copy. the publishers have the money for this

      mobile you just send your game to apple and let them take their 30%. there is also a lot less nitpicking about graphics on mobile. i've seen more than a few cool desktop games get panned by critics because their graphics weren't the most amazing they had seen.

      the lower cost of entry for mobile meant a lot more competition for zynga

      • The majority of EA and Activision games are developed by EA and Activision owned studios. So, they develop games themselves, just like Zynga.

  • They pioneered casual gaming. the kind of stuff people could play that had nothing to do with hack and slack and murder. most people have no dreams of imagining themselves shooting others or hacking them to death like the so called real gamers. funny thing is that most of their games were just like the so called hard core real games.

    too bad they ignored mobile and are now history while lots of other studios like Rovio are now making lots of money

    just like alfred sloan passing henry ford back in the day beca

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No... zynga was the "let's make an identical clone of this newly released, popular, original game some other company made and has on facebook, and slightly change the name!"

      If you think they're a pioneer of facebook (or any game) development... no offense... but you're and idiot

      • by alen (225700)

        really?

        did henry ford invent the car?

        did Sid meier or any of the early other early game pioneers invent their genres? nope, they copied pre-computer concepts
        RTS games in general are just faster versions of chess

    • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Friday November 30, 2012 @02:11PM (#42145553)

      > They pioneered casual gaming

      Social "Games" are neither Social nor Games. They "pioneered" casual game the same way casino's "pioneered" The Skinner Box. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning_chamber [wikipedia.org] )

      If there ever was a bastard child between Turn-Based games and RTS it would be social toys such as FarmVille. Social games are a total perversion of good game design. They disrespect the player and the player's time in order to make a quick buck.

      i.e.
      1. There is no way to "win" at Farmville.
      2. There is no way to give items to your friends in "social" "games".

      The sooner this "genre" dies the sooner players can play GOOD games without all the microtransaction and In-Game Purchases bullshit.

      Team Fortress 2 is the _right_ way to do it. The items & hats don't really give you that much of an advantage. Plus you can *gasp* trade for them, collect them, or craft them.

      • by alen (225700)

        farmville and Cityville weren't that different from Sim City and Civilization. Cityville was actually partly designed by Brian Reynolds or whatever his name was. I've read he did more work on Civ than Sid Meier.

        big difference is you had to spend money or get friends to play Zynga games to get further in the game. it wasn't an experience where you lock yourself in the house for a weekend playing Civ

        most of the anti-social geeks ranted about how the games sucked, but they were pretty much the same as the Civ

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They pioneered casual gaming. the kind of stuff people could play that had nothing to do with hack and slack and murder

      Kids. Think they invented everything under the sun.

      Let me take you back a couple of decades. [wikipedia.org]

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday November 30, 2012 @03:47PM (#42147119) Homepage

    Every business that has rented the building in San Francisco which Zynga now occupies has tanked.

    First it was the Fashion Center [portmanusa.com], a space for the rag trade in San Francisco. It was never more than half rented, and then the entire garment industry in SF collapsed.

    Then for a while it was occupied by Sega. (Remember Sega? Game console maker? No?) Some of the cooler interior spaces were removed (the building had a stage and fashion runway, and a nice atrium) and the place became office space.

    Now Zynga owns it. In an excess of confidence, they bought the building. Now they have too much office space, and everybody is bored with Farmville and its clones.

  • I guess this is what happens when the Devil gets in bed with the Devil. They're both evil & deserve to die.
  • Console gaming is dying!

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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