A thoguht occured to me when I saw that maybe half of my friends on facebook are playing some sort of game made by Zynga.
"Damn, a lot of people are playing Zynga games!"
Let's look at virtually any game made by Zynga that is on Facebook - they are simply F2P browser based games, every last one of them. In Mafia Wars you can purchase "Godfather points" that allow you to play the game at a more rapid pace, or be stronger, or just "hire" henchmen instead of insisting that your friends play by annoying them with spam invites. I myself tried this game without spending any money whatsoever until about level 115, but it was basically a process of logging in every day, pressing a mission a few times, repairing properties, and logging out. But if I'd paid the extra $5, I could keep playing for another round of what I just did!
And you can see where that leads - some devoted players spending heaps of money to get to the top. Woo!
The same things goes for Pirates or Dragon Wars or Vampires, they are all basically the same browser based game with various "missions" which use some form of "energy", along with the ability to "attack" other players using "strength" or something.
The activities are simple, basically the same, and don't even look visually impressive (being a browser game, the least they could do is put in some decent art)
Why, if I had hours and hours free to play browser games like this, I could sign up to ten of them! I could do everything I could with my "energy" in each individual game, and by the time I finished the last game, I could go back to the first game and start it all over again! Genious!
And of course, by having these games on Facebook as Applications, Zynga has put itself into a sort of viral advertising, simply by saying "Blaise is playing Mafia Wars", my friends could click the Mafia Wars link, and BAM! Another player!
Each person would play, their friends would see, some of those friends would click the link and play, some of their friends would see, etc. etc.
It is an incredible idea for any marketing expert out there, and obviously, as Zynga's status among the F2P world grows, it seems to work pretty well. Apparently, as of 21st of April, Zynga's applications have 40,335,309 active monthly users. Suck on that one, Blizzard.
I had originally planned for this particlar B-log to go along some other path, but I am content with giving people a heads up for when they see a Zynga game on some social networking site.
An unprofessional cheers for now!