Developers of casual games should not fall into the trap of thinking players don't understand games, because "casual players will surprise you," according to FarmVille 2 developer Wright Bagwell.
Bagwell — the director of design on FarmVille 2 — said during a FarmVille 2 postmortem at the Game Developers Conference that it's important for developers, especially developers of casual games, to "never insult the player."
"I often hear people say of casual games that their players are not 'real gamers,' that we need to get them up to speed," Bagwell said. "Well, my grandmother plays FarmVille 2, and she's not very good at it. But she plays Bridge and she is amazing at it, and she's also a killer poker player.
"She's an amazing gamer. She gets games. What she doesn't get is Facebook....
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus is among the worst CEOs of 2012, according to an article in Businessweek based on selections from Sydney Finkelstein, a Dartmouth College professor.
Finkelstein, who teaches at the Tuck School of Business, cites the social gaming studio's 75 percent stock drop and the recent flight of employees as the kind of "rookie mistakes" that Pincus made. CEOs of Best Buy, Avon and Chesapeake Energy join Pincus on the worst of list.
The FarmVille developer's troubles have surfaced several times in 2012. In July, a group of law firms began an investigation into allegations that executives sold Zynga stock before it plummeted 40 percent. In August, COO John Schappert resigned and Electronic Arts filed suit against Zynga for copyright infringement. The next month, Zynga c...
San Francisco-based social game developer Kixeye opened a studio in Victoria, British Columbia this week, appointing former Zynga Director of Development Clayton Stark as general manager.
Prior to joining Kixeye, Stark had worked on developing and restarting the 8.0 browser for Netscape and was the CTO and VP of Engineering at Flock, a company that developed a social game browser that was later acquired by Zynga. After the acquisition, Stark became the social game giant's director of development.
"I certainly wouldn't say that Zynga isn't creative, though — they basically created the social games industry."
Speaking to Polygon, Stark says that the transition from Zynga to Kixeye has been relatively smooth and, despite the two companies being publicly critical of each other, he...
Music trivia game SongPop came in at the top of Facebook's list of the highest-rated social games of 2012, the company announced yesterday.
According to New York-based developer FreshPlanet, SongPop has been downloaded by more than 60 million players, and it leads every other app in driving song purchases from Facebook to iTunes.
The 25 games on the list reflect a few important trends in social games, said Julien Cordoniou, head of gaming partnerships for Facebook in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "It was the most diverse and global year for social games to date — for those on Facebook.com, as well as games built with Facebook for iPhone, iPad and Android," according to Cordoniou.
Part of that diversity is geographical: The majority of games on the list were developed outside...
Zynga is launching an in-game charity drive called Oh, What Fun! that will raise funds for Toys for Tots, the social gaming giant announced today.
The program — which runs from today, Nov. 28, through Dec. 31 — allows players to contribute to Toys for Tots by buying in-game items or sending a donation via text message, with 100 percent of the cost going directly to the organization. It will roll out in the following seven Zynga games over the next few weeks:
FarmVille: Nov. 28 to Dec. 5 Farmers send your neighbors some holiday cheer with the cheer-ewe-up horse ($1) and in return receive a festive holiday teddy tree to decorate your farm.
CityVille: Nov. 29 to Dec. 31 Deck your city halls by completing toy crafting quests where you make, wrap and sell gifts to kids for the...
Zynga has promoted its vice president of games in charge of FarmVille 2, Tim LeTourneau, to the position of Chief Creative Officer, replacing Mike Verdu who left the company back in August, All Things D reports.
Until now LeTourneau was in charge of the daily operations of FarmVille 2, which is currently Zynga's most-played game and is the studio's first foray into 3D social games. Prior to joining the studio, he spent more than a decade at EA working on The Sims franchise, climbing to the position of vice president and general manager of The Sims Studio at EA.
In his new position, LeTourneau will help overlook game design across all of Zynga's products.
Zynga games Treasure Isle and FishVille will be the first of 13 games to be shut down, according to announcements made on their respective Facebook pages.
Back in October Zynga CEO Mark Pincus sent an internal memo to employees detailing a 5 percent cut in staff numbers, the closure of its Boston studio and that 13 underperforming games would be shut down.
On Friday a message was posted both on the FishVille and Treasure Isle Facebook pages announcing the end of both games. The message is below.
Thank you for supporting FishVille and for being a loyal player! We're sorry to inform you that FishVille will be shutting down on December 5, 2012. In place of FishVille, we encourage you to play other Zynga games like Castleville, Chefville, Farmville 2, Mafia Wars...
Zynga will launch a UK gambling initiative in partnership with bwin.party Digital Entertainment as a first step into the online gambling world, reports Gamasutra.
bwin.party is an online gaming company that does business in poker, sports betting, casinos and bingo. Zynga's first partnered launch will be a slots simulator based on FarmVille. According to the company's chief financial officer David Wehner, this is only the first of many gambling ventures.
"We view this as a first step into real money gambling, and we believe that it's a good first step," Wehner said. "But it's only a first step toward what we think is a large opportunity for Zynga."
The announcement comes in the wake of massive layoffs, studio closures and cancellations on Oct. 23, after CEO Mark Pincus announced c...