Pincus has acknowledged not being vigilant enough with the automated ads that appeared on Zynga games during the company’s early days.
So I funded the company myself but I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this zwinky toolbar which was like, I dont know, I downloaded it once and couldn’t get rid of it. *laughs* We did anything possible just to just get revenues so that we could grow and be a real business.
Zynga’s done the right thing since then and I’m having issue more with CNN’s reporting than anything. I have to give them their kudos for their huge success.
I just hate, hate, that they and everyone else uses the term “social gaming” for what is essentially a solitaire experience. WoW is a social game. Parking Wars is a social game. Actually, I’d call Parking Wars the definition of a social game. It can’t be played without your friends and the mechanics are based on the actions of those friends.
From the first link:
[Pincus]: “A great social game should be like a great cocktail party. If you want it to appeal to absolutely everyone you invite, it has to be broad in its content so that everyone gets it.”
If his cocktail parties are everyone sitting by themselves while occasionally getting their friends a drink or a snack, I probably don’t want to go to his cocktail parties.
Facebook games don’t all need to have Parking Wars levels of social engineering, but “social gaming” is awful (and almost ironic) nomenclature for the genre.