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Facebook and Zynga Move Apart

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the they-go-together-like-chocolate-and-peanut-shells dept.

Facebook 64

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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64 comments

Depend on close platform, what do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42144485)

This is what you get when you depend on close platform.

Re:Depend on close platform, what do you expect? (3, Funny)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#42144773)

How distant does a platform need to be before I can depend on it? I would think the closer the platform, the better off I would be.

Re:Depend on close platform, what do you expect? (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year ago | (#42146029)

Yeah, it seems relying on the real entertainment value and general quality of your games for reliable revenue is somewhat passe.

Nowadays you just make careful judgements about which walled gardens you do business in. ;)

Well thats it for Zynga. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42144487)

Lets see how well the rest of the web game companies without a captive audience do.

*crickets*

Share prices... (1)

Captain.Abrecan (1926372) | about a year ago | (#42144499)

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... (4, Insightful)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about a year ago | (#42144637)

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

Re:Share prices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42145883)

I was thinking exactly this. My guess is that Facebook decided that they were going to loose more revenue by losing users that got annoyed with the game spam than they were getting from Zynga.

Re:Share prices... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42146183)

Part of what killed MySpace and gave rise to Facebook is that they enforce a certain structure to everything, removing the obnoxious scourge of animated mouse cursors, pink flashing animated gif backgrounds, horrible music on autoplay, spammy box ads everywhere, etc. The blast announcements from FB games are the last, most obnoxious reminders of those olden days of savagery.

That and, nobody has ever, or will ever, be able to see who is looking at a page. It's a license to obsessively monitor someone's life, unabashed.

Re:Share prices... (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42150283)

You can very easily turn off the announcements from a game. Sure, you have to do it once per game that your friends play, but that's FAR less irritating (IMHO) than you can't get Most Recent sorting to stick on the web. (It DOES seem to stick on the newest version of the iPhone app.)

Re:Share prices... (2)

obi1one (524241) | about a year ago | (#42144643)

The sharing of progress on facebook reminded people to go play the game and introduced new people to the game.

Re:Share prices... (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Share prices... (1)

Megahard (1053072) | about a year ago | (#42144681)

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

Gee, I wonder where they got that idea?

Re:Share prices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42146719)

Friendster?

Re:Share prices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42144725)

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.

Does anyone really think share prices have anything to do with logical thinking?

Re:Share prices... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#42144825)

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.

Does anyone really think share prices have anything to do with logical thinking?

Logical thinkers didn't buy the stock of either in the first place.

Re:Share prices... (1)

oztiks (921504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42150459)

insightful+

Analyst's say FB will 10 fold its revenue by 2015 and have a present life cycle of 15+ years. Meanwhile real companies with proper business models struggle, you tell me where does this insanity come from?

Re:Share prices... (2)

FileNotFound (85933) | about a year ago | (#42144743)

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 game outside of facebook besides Words with Friends on the iPhone.

Not saying Zynga is dead - but they will never be "big news" without Facebook. They'll just be another crappy company making crapy flash games based on other peoples games.

Re:Share prices... (0)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year ago | (#42145003)

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 therefore the WWF and CWF apps couldn't be Flash. Perhaps I am mistaken?

AIR and HTML5 (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42145891)

Even if Flash Player itself doesn't run, AIR does, and the same aesthetic can be found in HTML5 games.

Re:Share prices... (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#42146661)

Zynga games are typically implemented in the web interface using Flash. The dedicated apps on phones and such are of course not Flash.

Re:Words with friends (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about a year ago | (#42147315)

Words with friends was originally created by another company. According to venturebeat.com [venturebeat.com] , they paid some $44 million for it in November 2010. I assume chess with friends came with it.

Re:Share prices... (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42150321)

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 lower the price) to avoid those⦠But it's getting close.

Re:Share prices... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#42144911)

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.

Re:Share prices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42145099)

I might have stayed on FaceBook longer if there was no FarmVille. When I was "kicking the tires" on it, the stuuuuupid childish icons from friends were a huge turn-off. Really though, it was my utter lack of desire to re-connect with high school that made me decide to delete the account.

Anyway, I do think there is some segment of the population that will not play FarmVille if they don't get poked about it on FB.

Furthermore, people are probably getting tired of the click for reward genre anyway. Zynga will have to innovate or die. Innovating to survive is a lot harder than innovating on the way up. If brain drain starts, there will be a vicious circle and it'll go *poof*.

after-hours trading? (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#42144517)

"shares fell 13% in after-hours trading". It's still 1pm in NYC.

Re:after-hours trading? (4, Informative)

fred911 (83970) | about a year ago | (#42144639)

This refers to after hours trading on the 29th.

http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-11-29/markets/35430351_1_zynga-shares-zynga-com-facebook [marketwatch.com]

Re:after-hours trading? (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#42144745)

Ah thanks, that article was more informative. It mentioned this interesting tidbit "Facebook will be able to develop its own games.", which was missing in the BBC article. The BBC article said "Facebook has not announced plans to build its own games platform.".

Re:after-hours trading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42144983)

It mentioned this interesting tidbit "Facebook will be able to develop its own games.", which was missing in the BBC article. The BBC article said "Facebook has not announced plans to build its own games platform.".

Both of which can be true. They will be able to develop their own games, but have not announced any plans to do so (yet)

Re:after-hours trading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42144683)

This was announced yesterday. As usual slashdot is late with the news.

Re:after-hours trading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42145031)

Want the news posted faster? Then post the article yourself as soon as you see it

Facebook needs Zynga? (4, Funny)

gatfirls (1315141) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Facebook needs Zynga? (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | about a year ago | (#42145819)

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 of about 1 billion users.

Re:Facebook needs Zynga? (2)

gatfirls (1315141) | about a year ago | (#42146619)

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."

Re:Facebook needs Zynga? (1)

iroll (717924) | about a year ago | (#42147859)

> Zynga games is a big draw for Facebook

I want some of what you're smoking.

Only good will come out of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42162453)

With Zynga moving to be on their own and Failbook embracing others Failbook will lose on the gaming revenue and traffic while Zynga will lose out as well, no constant advertisement. This will be a win/win for everyone. Who needs the crap like Failbook/Friendstar/Myspace/Goog+ anyways? After all all of the functions those site provide is already handled with IRC, IM, Newsgroups, blogs, bulletin board forums, html, etc. The gaming can be handled in any other way without the need for Flash or HTML5.

Oh well... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42144605)

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

Re:Oh well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42144867)

I could lose my job, you insensitive clod!

If I don't have a purpose for staring at this screen all day they will probably lay me off.

Facebook should've bought Zynga (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42144675)

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

Re:Facebook should've bought Zynga (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42144839)

really? look how their games turned out. almost no one plays them anymore

Re:Facebook should've bought Zynga (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42150417)

Nobody goes there anymore, they're too crowded.

zynga sucks on mobile (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#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

Suspend your laptop (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42145971)

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.

Re:Suspend your laptop (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42146487)

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.

The concept of a game company with stock.. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#42144799)

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.

Re:The concept of a game company with stock.. (2)

DeDmeTe (678464) | about a year ago | (#42144935)

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.

Is copying desirable or not? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#42146027)

And GNU/Linux did a pretty good job of copying/ripping off UNIX. Is copying desirable or not?

Re:Is copying desirable or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42146185)

There's a difference between ripping off and copying. To copy is to implement a similar thing. Linux is a rather good quality copy. "Rip off" has rather large negative connotations. Zynga makes rip-offs.

Re:The concept of a game company with stock.. (1)

Roobles (1880882) | about a year ago | (#42144961)

Zygna has office chairs? Based on the anecdotal accounts I've heard of them, I assumed they had their employees sitting on milk crates.

Re:The concept of a game company with stock.. (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#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

Re:The concept of a game company with stock.. (2)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about a year ago | (#42146611)

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

zynga was the henry ford of the new games market (1, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42144889)

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 because ford refused to deviate from his original vision of a single model of mass produced car

Re:zynga was the henry ford of the new games marke (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42145161)

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

Re:zynga was the henry ford of the new games marke (0)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42145791)

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

no, the problem is their "game"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147527)

...isn't actually a game.

Re:zynga was the henry ford of the new games marke (3, Informative)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:zynga was the henry ford of the new games marke (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42145745)

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 and Sim City i've played since the 80's

Re:zynga was the henry ford of the new games marke (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42146623)

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]

Re:zynga was the henry ford of the new games marke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42146793)

They pioneered casual gaming.

PopCap might want to have something to say about that.

And after they're done, I'm certain more commenters will come by to add more companies to that list. Sure, they'll inevitably degrade down to an increasingly-farcical parade of "well, company X which existed umpteen bazillion years ago were TECHNICALLY a casual gaming company because X, Y, Z..." excuses, but there's more than enough ACTUAL, REASONABLE data to make one wonder just what Zynga "pioneered".

Everybody in that building tanks (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#42147119)

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.

Re:Everybody in that building tanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42154215)

You're putting the cart before the horse.
Building owner [X] had a space to fill.
If company [Y] could still justify renting the space they would, at least until [X] got greedy and raised the rent.
Once [Y] leaves, for whatever reason, [X] needs a new tenant [Z] to pay the construction loan and taxes and to keep the cash flowing.
Owning the building hardly makes sense for [Y] or [Z] unless they're immune to market forces that would require more or fewer FTE employees... or they want to get out of business and into real estate ownership.

And it couldn't happens to a more deserving bunch (1)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | about a year ago | (#42147309)

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

Re:And it couldn't happens to a more deserving bun (0)

Noir Angellus (2740421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42152613)

If I could vote this up I would.

On A Sinking Ship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42147363)

The rats are the first ones off.

Just Remember (1)

DexPleiadian (634812) | about a year ago | (#42147791)

Console gaming is dying!
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