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Facebook Mafiosi Go To the Mattresses vs. Zynga 102

sympleko writes "Zynga has the lion's share of traffic in Facebook applications, and Mafia Wars is one of their most popular social games. Collapsing under the weight of over 26 million users, Zynga has been scrambling to thwart hard-core gamers who reverse-engineer URLs or script the game to optimize their enjoyment. Many of the workarounds have annoyed users who were accustomed to various game features, and even worse, the hastily-deployed changes have resulted in many players losing access to the game, in-game prizes, or statistics. Fed up with a software company seemingly bent on discouraging people from enjoying their product, a number of tagged players have organized a boycott of all Zynga games. The first 24-hour boycott on Sunday 12/13 resulted in an 11% decline in Daily Active Users, and an emergency thread on Zynga's forums (from which most of the flames were deleted). The current boycott, extending Wednesday through Sunday is being supported by a 428K strong Facebook group. At issue is the social contract between software companies and their devoted user base, as well as the nefarious tactics Zynga has used to raise cash."
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Facebook Mafiosi Go To the Mattresses vs. Zynga

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  • Figures (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheModelEskimo ( 968202 ) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:51AM (#30469638)
    Business folk have been shooting around Pincus interviews for months now. "What is it that makes him so great?" "How can I invent a simple Facebook game and be rich?" "It's so easy, right?" etc.

    It's bad enough that a trusted associate is trying to get me to drop everything and develop "apps," because everybody knows they're the next big thing.

    But the fact is, Pincus and his people (with great encouragement from his mentor, who *only* cares about money) looked up every sleazy trick in the book and put them all out there. Now they get Sleazy results, and the media suddenly have occasion to finish up the Pincus Story by presenting a dark side. They'll be all over that.
  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) * on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:54AM (#30469662) Homepage Journal

    I can't stand needy people, and I can't stand needy programs that NEED to be on my wall and whore for attention.

    The only "App" I still use on Facebook is the movie app, yeah, I right a few movie reviews, find out what the movies are about and rate them. I don't want addicting Mafia, Farm, Navel Gazing crap.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:56AM (#30470104)

    Mario Puzo explained it along the lines of JoshuaZ in the book version of "The Godfather."

  • by johnlcallaway ( 165670 ) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:07AM (#30470184)
    You obviously have spent any time playing Farmville, or just don't understand how to select crops. Sure, a crop that takes 1 day has much XP as one that takes 4 hours. But .. a crop that takes 1 day only earns 2 xp/day/square (one to plow, one to plant). A crop that takes 4 hours gets 12 xp/day/square because you can plant it 6 times. So it takes a lot of effort to level up at first. Spending effort at first to gain rapid xp gets one into higher return crops. Everytime you make 100,000 coins, you can buy windmills to get 1,000xp and then turn around and sell them for 5,000. In other words, you can then BUY xp. The ribbons also are helpful at first, and realizing that one hay bail is a decoration, or one tent is a building makes it easy to get all the ribbons in a category spending minimum amounts of coins (not money). Yep .. a lot of clicking. Maybe someone who doesn't like all that clicking or taking the time to understand how to exploit the game just isn't very detail oriented.

    Once you get high enough, you can get crops that you get 4 xp/day/square for. Not as good as the 12, but a lot less clicking. So the game becomes a matter of what one is willing to expend to rise in levels .. you want to rise fast, pick corps with short durations and plan on doing a LOT of clicking. Once you get high enough, pick groups that have high daily returns and buy xp.

    I play 30 minutes/day now in 10 minute intervals .. once when I get up, once a lunch, and once at night. I use the farm equipment and only plant 150 plots/cycle so I don't run out of gas. It has slowed my advance, but I find it still enjoyable.

    Yes .. I have probably played the game too much. But I haven't spent one cent on it, and I find some pleasure in balancing the increases in level with the least amount of effort. I'm sure I'll tire of it someday, but as long as my cousin is ahead of me, I'll keep playing until I pass him!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:18AM (#30470270)

    Per Wikipedia

    Farmtown Release: Early 2009
    Farmville Release: June 2009

    The mafia games are trickier, the best info I could find pointed to Mob Wars as being the first mafia game with over 2.5 million players by august 2008. Mafia Wars was released Jan 1st 2009.

    For their other major games:

    Fishville, based off of Fish World and Happy Aquarium
    Zynga poker.... well, it's poker. Not much original there.
    Petville, based off of Pet Society
    YoVille, based off of Habbo Hotel (non-facebook game)
    Cafe World, based off of Restaurant City

    Also see zynga's article in wikipedia:

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.