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Op Ed

IndustryGamers - Facebook's Evil Twin Dilemma. By Alex St. John.
Watching Zynga and Facebook "getting along" in the press reminds me of the scene in the 1993 movie Army of Darkness where Ash struggles to separate himself from his evil conjoined twin. I wrote previously that the first generation of "social games" are really just Facebook parasites. They are games that nobody wants to play outside of Facebook. First-generation social games are designed for one purpose: to hijack the social graph machinery to virally promote themselves, providing just the shallowest amount of entertainment value to get their players to perpetuate them to their friends. The games can't survive outside their host social graph on their own merits. The point of making this observation is not to denigrate the many talented social game developers out there, but to make an important observation about the future of the phenomena called "social gaming."

GameZone - Why Fighting Games Are Better in 2D.
But since the 3D conversion took place, how many epic fighters can you name that you truly love? Two? Maybe three? Before the conversion, however, there were dozens: Mortal Kombat, Marvel vs. Capcom (which was preceded by excellent Marvel-specific fighting games), Killer Instinct, the 16-bit Street Fighter games, to name a few. Even lower-end fighters like WrestleMania and Primal Rage had their moments. How many lower-end fighting games can you say that about today? How many top-tier 3D fighting games can you say that about?

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3. Re: Evil Twin Jun 27, 2010, 14:21 eRe4s3r
And while you frequent Facebook and play these adware games you give up all privacy you ever had, and for what, for friends that aren't and that you keep in contact with you don't want, and to play sucky browser games of all things. Awesome.

The funny thing is that you don't even realize what kind of privacy problem these Zynga games are (not that facebook is less one, but at least facebook has to follow laws), but how do they say, those that give up their privacy and personal data willingly don't deserve it (privacy, that is).
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2. Re: Evil Twin Jun 27, 2010, 14:10 Ruffiana
Farmville's wildly successful by any metric. It's an okay game, but I think thta Zynga has done a really good job with their latest, Frontierville. It's actually a fun little casual game.

The spammyness of these games can be controlled by setting up a friend's list specifically to send in-game messages out to, but that is a feature I really wish the games themselves would incorporate. I don't mind spamming my friends who also play these games, because they want to click on the links to get the goodies...but I don't like hammering my non-playing friend's walls with hundreds of game related posts a day. That's way beyond viral marketting and deep into harassment territory.

I wouldn't call this relationship parastic as much as symbiotic. The main reason I frequent facebook as much as I do now is because of Zynga's games.
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1. Evil Twin Jun 27, 2010, 10:26 Creston
Interesting article. I'm not really sure why he needs 7 lengthy paragraphs to make his point, which is basically: "man, social games really suck!"

Which is a perfectly valid position to take, but why is that somehow Facebook's fault? He can bleat that nobody would ever play these games without Facebook, but seeing as they are offered solely ON Facebook, that's kind of a dumb argument to make.

I also believe that something like 80 million people play Farmville, so to not call it a success is just plain odd.

Then again, about the article's author: Alex St. John is the President and CTO of hi5 where he leads all product strategy, design, development and operations. Previously, he was CEO and co-founder of WildTangent

Ah. WildTangent. Their "ORB" system was going to change the face of gaming forever. All it ever managed to do was infest its TRULY shitty games over several hardware manufacturers' windows images, causing you to have to take 20 minutes to uninstall the crap. Seems more like sour grapes from St. John that someone else's business succeeded where he failed quite fucking badly.

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