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Zynga targets Whales, not true fans

By on October 10, 2011
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Last week, Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of nDreams, wrote a post that gave four reasons why he thinks Zynga has peaked.

Reader Clr64 made the following comment:

I’ve recently started playing Adventure World after a long break from playing social games (no time)

It’s a fun game but annoying as hell – everything mentioned is this article is true and I have to admit I have spent money because I’m one of those that have poor impulse control. It is a fun game though or I would not have bothered.

The thing is – I’m so angry at myself for spending money on it. I believe companies like Zynga are missing the boat – if they make the experience so much fun that you don’t mind spending money (and you feel like your getting value instead of being manipulated) I think the profit potential would be much higher. I really can’t spend any more money on Adventure World so I’m going to be weaning myself off – I can’t afford it.

I think this comment sums up what I meant in Whales, True Fans and the Ethics of Free-to-play games and what Patrick talked about in his post.

I don’t think metrics-led design needs to be bad. But I do think that games businesses with no soul will struggle to survive.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com