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News & Features Discussion  » General: Farmville Killed Gaming, V-Worlds, Dogs

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157 posts found
  championsFan

Novice Member

Joined: 12/01/09
Posts: 420

3/17/10 1:10:31 PM#21
Originally posted by Stradden 

So, do virtual worlds have something to fear from the success of Facebook and other social games? Of course they do. it's not that people are afraid no one's going to play the AAA games, it's the fear that no one's going to fund the AAA games.

I think the answer is no, and it is because the entertainment industry investors are addicted to "big hits."   It is the same reason that they use predictable returns from romantic comedies to invest in more ambitious and risky mega-blockbusters.   Or on TV, for several decades the model was to use the steady predictable income from children's shows, daytime soaps, etc  to spend on big budget prime time shows that failed most of the time.
 

I think the revenue model of "social gaming" is a fad, just like arcades used to be, just like music games (rock band, etc) a few years ago.   Right now these little facebook games are new and novelty, and that's why masses of non-gamers play them, but very soon the market will get saturated and the novelty will decline.   In the early days of arcades (pac-man) you would get non-gamer types playing a few rounds, just to see the world's latest novelty.  But as the 80s pressed on the games did not change much and so the novelty evaporated, leaving only 'hardcore' gamers behind in the arcade.  
 

Cryptic is trying a Customer Development approach to MMO creation.

  Pokota3

Novice Member

Joined: 10/20/06
Posts: 3

3/17/10 1:58:34 PM#22

I'm an old fan of online games, but this "war" between social gaming and other gaming really doesn't exist. They mostly attract different people for different reasons.

And WoW's supposed market dominance is of course, overstated. I was an original WoW tester, and I couldn't stand it for more than 6 months.

  Lobotomist

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/20/07
Posts: 4884

I got so much trouble on my mind Refuse to lose.

3/17/10 2:03:03 PM#23

Great write up as usual , Scott

 

So anyway.

As I see it. What happened to games is the same thing that happened in whole area of entertainment art.

 


What happened is that online games had started small. Catering first to game enthusiasts , roleplayers.

And than it grew and slowly started catering to the masses (thanks to WOW mainly).

So It changed to fit simple tastes of the masses.

 

But the original crowd of game enthusiasts didnt disapear. They are smaller but not in numbers. Statistically, because they are part of bigger group now.

So there is still market for GOOD GAMES, real games. Its just have to learn it will not make 20 million subscribers in a week.

 

The real lesson here is

 

We are ALTERNATIVE SCENE NOW.

Companies have to understand that. And stop trying to please or get the simpleton masses.

If you make game for a real gamer. Make it on smaller budget and with real complicated advanced gameplay.

 

If you make game for simpleton masses.

Well... just make Farmville 2

 

 

 

 

 

  Raph

MMO Designer

Joined: 9/11/06
Posts: 118

3/17/10 2:04:41 PM#24

I haven't seen any numbers for Aion subscribers broken out by territory. Does it have millions in NA/Europe?

LOTRO's what, a million or so?

That really is not "rising tide for everyone" sorts of results. Better, but 2-3x improvement in 7-8 years?

More telling, only two examples?

  Pietoro

Novice Member

Joined: 6/21/06
Posts: 161

"..."

3/17/10 2:09:33 PM#25

"It was easier ten years ago... when you'd just ship a great product and the users pay you up front," [Pacific Crest analyst Evan] Wilson says. "Those days are over."

From there, he raises a controversial question: "How important is game development when you have poor quality free social games generating these kinds of numbers?"

Media companies only care about daily average uniques, Wilson continues. "The industry has been moving in that direction rapidly and it's accelerating and it's scary," he adds. "It is a big, big issue when some of the leading social gaming companies can get over 20 million players on a game in nine days," he adds -- even the best AAA titles can't pull those numbers."

 

What is more of a threat to 'quality games' is people who start making whatever type of game gets the bigger market share, rather than the type of game they love that appeals to different (smaller) niches of players.

Not every genre of game can attract 20 million people. If that number of players becomes the requirement for a game to be called a 'success' in the future by publishers and investors, then we'll have a real problem on our hands, but it won't be the fault of Farmville.

  postmanGG

Novice Member

Joined: 3/10/10
Posts: 7

3/17/10 2:24:41 PM#26

Fantastic article for sure

 What are the chances that this "war" could end up being good for the genre? Over the last few years we the gamer have been inundated with sub par, incomplete, and often just plain terrible games because MMOs are big money so everyone wants a piece of the pie. I don't think many people will argue with me in saying that the market is oversaturated and with garbage none the less. 

From a consumer standpoint, if a large portion of that investor money began to shift in the direction of quick return social games, and the money that is left is scarce it will force developers to step it up a notch in order to compete for the money that is left. While this could be bad for a lot of game development companies, I think in some respects the MMO gamer might win in that we start to see a better quality product in the long term and less AoCs, Anarchy Onlines, Tabula Rasas etc. and AAA titles could be based on the game itself rather than the fact that they have a $100 million budget like every other game out their. 

Its going to be harder for indie companies like AV and MH and Hi-Rez to compete, but competition is good.

  Niakad

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/12/10
Posts: 37

3/17/10 2:37:15 PM#27

The day when such "games" will actually eat a meaningful share off the "regular" games market will be the end of the Human Sapiens. There are a lot of regular Bills and Joes that are hard put to it when it comes to plugging the mouse into the right USB, yet it is not the thing masses should aspire for.

Everyone starts at 0. It is by overcoming challenges that we learn and evolve. Thus, the day when challeges become uncool will be a very bad day indeed. And these games are avatars of this cool uncoolness.

  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

3/17/10 2:42:01 PM#28

Not again this argument... didnt we just have the same 2 weeks ago?

Farmville killing gaming... shoot. THE END IS NIGH! =P

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  Jester47

Novice Member

Joined: 1/01/08
Posts: 90

3/17/10 2:47:29 PM#29

I really didn't want to be reminded of this. This topic has popped up quite a few times since Facebook games took off.  The "Farmville Side" (Or the social, micro-transaction, pay for results side of the coin) really believe this is the future of video games as a whole. It's scary how sure they are sometimes.  I mean, you hear them talk and they're in the industry and you're not, so you have to ask yourself, "What if he's right?"

http://www.gametrailers.com/episode/bonusround/402?ch=1

http://www.gametrailers.com/episode/bonusround/401?ch=2

http://www.gametrailers.com/episode/bonusround/401?ch=3

http://www.gametrailers.com/episode/bonusround/401?ch=4

I recommend everyone check out this episode of the Bonus Round.  It's a discussion on the state of the industry. The guy in the middle is so certain that games, we're talking hardcore games like your Call of Duty's, World of Warcraft's, sports games and such are all going to follow the Farmville approach where you can pay to unlock everything.  He believes games will require longer time investments to unlock everything, but will all offer micro-transactions to unlock and upgrade faster for the players who don't have time or don't want to work at it.

It caused a lot of anger on Gametrailers.com and I can't blame blame them. We as gamers and not developers have to speak with our wallets and word of mouth to make sure this shift never occurs.

  dterry

Novice Member

Joined: 1/03/07
Posts: 457

"Inanimate objects must pay for their insolence"

3/17/10 2:57:50 PM#30
Originally posted by Elikal

Not again this argument... didnt we just have the same 2 weeks ago?

Farmville killing gaming... shoot. THE END IS NIGH! =P

 

Actually - the argument is that Farmville and it's ilk are scamming people.

dave1972 Xfire Miniprofile
  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

3/17/10 2:59:43 PM#31
Originally posted by Jester47

I really didn't want to be reminded of this. This topic has popped up quite a few times since Facebook games took off.  The "Farmville Side" (Or the social, micro-transaction, pay for results side of the coin) really believe this is the future of video games as a whole. It's scary how sure they are sometimes.  I mean, you hear them talk and they're in the industry and you're not, so you have to ask yourself, "What if he's right?"

http://www.gametrailers.com/episode/bonusround/402?ch=1

http://www.gametrailers.com/episode/bonusround/401?ch=2

http://www.gametrailers.com/episode/bonusround/401?ch=3

http://www.gametrailers.com/episode/bonusround/401?ch=4

I recommend everyone check out this episode of the Bonus Round.  It's a discussion on the state of the industry. The guy in the middle is so certain that games, we're talking hardcore games like your Call of Duty's, World of Warcraft's, sports games and such are all going to follow the Farmville approach where you can pay to unlock everything.  He believes games will require longer time investments to unlock everything, but will all offer micro-transactions to unlock and upgrade faster for the players who don't have time or don't want to work at it.

It caused a lot of anger on Gametrailers.com and I can't blame blame them. We as gamers and not developers have to speak with our wallets and word of mouth to make sure this shift never occurs.

 

Rest assured, it will not occur. There will always be games as we know them. Like there is only place for one WOW, there just isnt a market for dozens or more Farmville's. And then what will the other game developers do?

This is total nonsense talk.

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  Khalathwyr

Tipster

Joined: 6/02/04
Posts: 3151

Google is your friend.

3/17/10 3:02:46 PM#32

Great! So, the backlash of this is the so-called AAA developers now decide that they might as well make their games even more shallow and less like worlds (sim-like) to cut even more costs to make them more attractive toward investors. Perfect. Just, perfect. Oh, sure, there may be more logical steps to take in this case, steps that I may even embrace. But if there is one thing this industry has shown me since WoW is that the heads of these companies aren't anywhere near logical nor do they have creativity anywhere in their mindset. They are indeed chasing metrics and there hasn't been any miraculous event that is going to stop them from this pattern of behavior.

If World of Darkness Online and/or Copernicus don't offer up well-rounded world's and instead are more of the same old same AAA offerings of late, then I'm seriously done with this genre of gaming. I'm going to go to Facebook, unblock Farmville and start playing it non-stop. I, and many others, have been begging, kicking and screaming for a return to the depth and variety of gameplay that UO and early SWG offered and have been continuously ignored. Well, if hitching my wagon to Zynga and finally accepting a paper dixie cup full of Aihoshi's Blue Kool-Aid in any minute way screws over the establishment (the AAA P2Pers) and allows me to throw up a parting middle digit, well, in the infamous words of Palpatine..."So be it, Jedi..."

"Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

Kickstarter 1 / Naysayers 0

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1828

3/17/10 3:05:32 PM#33

Nice article, but there is a bit of a dot-com, beanie baby ring to the way "social games" are being talked about these days. Yes like any "trendy" things some implimenters can make a good chunk of change off it if they luck into hitting it at the right time and place.... but most won't and alot that invest heavily in it will loose thier shirts. The VC's have a vested interest in hyping this up as well...I've seen the way alot of these guys work... they are like snake-oil salsemen... they don't make the bulk of thier returns off of sustained revenue like a traditional business would (i.e. making a doughnut costs 50 cents, you can sell one for $1 ...repeat a couple million times and your making money).... they do it buy jumping into a company product early with a chunk of cash...hyping it up to show that it has "growth metrics" and then turning around and making a windfall by selling it to some other poor slob investor who suddenly discovers that "growth metrics" doesn't equal sustainable proffit.

I think one of the posters in one of the discussions linked to put it best....essentialy he said....

So what if some social game has x zillion users, how many of them are actualy paying anything? A thousand people drive by my house every day, not one of them gives me any money...does that make me rich?

That shouldn't be too hard to understand...USERS/VISITORS are not a revenue source...they are a COST source... CUSTOMERS are a revenue source (i.e. money changes hands).

Now traditionaly...alot of high volume sites have tried to cash in on that volume by selling advertising space or targeted mailing lists or other crap like that.... but that business model is getting harder and harder to pitch ever since the economy took a down turn and corporate budgets got tighter. The CFO's at the big Corps have finally started to finally wise upto the fact that just because you put your corporate logo in front of millions of eye-balls doesn't mean your bottom line is going to budge one millimeter. Things like "brand-awareness" and all that other fuzzy stuff that Marketers love to tout are being put under a harsh spot-light these days.... and the view, unsurprisingly isn't pretty.

The big corps (rightfully so) aren't much interested in paying for things like "site views" or "unique visitors" or "even click throughs".....increasingly the only thing they are willing to shell out cash for is "conversions"..... that is something that shows that the pair of eye-balls you directed there way actualy plunked down cold hard cash to BUY something from them.

That's the real kicker (as in bring you back to reality) about this whole Social Network phenominom.... at the end of the day, Volume doesn't mean crap if somewhere down the line, money isn't changing hands.

That isn't to say that there isn't some decent money to be had in the social gaming arena. Some users do derive some value (entertainment or otherwise) from those social venues and (just like those of us who like to light up digital zombies with a 12 gauge) are willing to plunk down some cash for that experience.

However, "social gaming" and social media in general these days are alot more hype then they are SUSTAINABLE revenue.... and anyone that tries to tell you different is probably trying to sell you something.

  astoria

Novice Member

Joined: 11/26/08
Posts: 1685

3/17/10 3:09:07 PM#34

I think it is just an expanding online world. My gal plays facebook games and would never play a MMORPG - just wouldnt invest that much time. I think they are very different targeted audiences, just happen to be online and games.

"Never met a pack of humans that were any different. Look at the idiots that get elected every couple of years. You really consider those guys more mature than us? The only difference between us and them is, when they gank some noobs and take their stuff, the noobs actually die." - Madimorga

  dterry

Novice Member

Joined: 1/03/07
Posts: 457

"Inanimate objects must pay for their insolence"

3/17/10 3:17:24 PM#35
Originally posted by astoria

I think it is just an expanding online world. My gal plays facebook games and would never play a MMORPG - just wouldnt invest that much time. I think they are very different targeted audiences, just happen to be online and games.

Make sure she is on the lookout for scams. Big time.


dave1972 Xfire Miniprofile
  mad-hatter

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/15/04
Posts: 237

3/17/10 3:21:54 PM#36

Meh, my girl played Farmville pretty hardcore for about a month and got bored, never spent a dime on it but I'm sure there are some that have.  I don't see how people can enjoy it, it looks soooooo boring.  To each his own though.  Either way, it's a trend, it will die out.  Just like Myspace did before Facebook became the "in" thing.  I  really don't see games similar to Farmville destroying anyones fun,  no real gamer is going to sit there and play these things for more than a couple days without getting absolutely bored of it.

  Lidane

Novice Member

Joined: 1/08/07
Posts: 2315

3/17/10 3:23:20 PM#37
Originally posted by Elikal

Rest assured, it will not occur. There will always be games as we know them. Like there is only place for one WOW, there just isnt a market for dozens or more Farmville's. And then what will the other game developers do?

This is total nonsense talk.

Agreed.

It's one thing for Zynga to have a dozen different variations of Mafia Wars and Farmville on Facebook. It's another thing entirely for dozens of other developers to flood Facebook and other social media sites with knockoffs of Mafia Wars and Farmville to try and replicate their success. The crowd that gravitates towards a game like Farmville isn't necessarily going to follow a dozen more clones of it or give those other games any money or time at all. They've got their Facebook routine down, and they're going to stick to it.

Also, nothing on Facebook is going to kill traditional gaming. The whole idea that companies are suddenly going to divert all their funding away from larger AAA titles towards cheaply made Farmville clones is absurd. Developers can easily do both. Look at Ubisoft-- for every ridiculous piece of Wii or DS shovelware that they put out (the Petz and Imagine games, the My Coach series, etc.) they ALSO still put out more serious, hardcore games for the traditional gamer. Why can't the same hold true here?

If an MMO developer decides to put a game on Facebook, like SOE has with Pox Nora, that doesn't detract from their other games in development, like DCU Online, and it doesn't fundamentally alter the game market. It's just a developer casting the widest possible net for potential customers.

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6814

3/17/10 3:27:33 PM#38

The problem with games like Farmville or any of the facebook games.  They operate 24/7 so you have to contantly be online to tend your game.  Completely ridiculous.  I can play a MMO when I want in most situations.  Same with any FPS or stategy game and not worry about logging on in the middle of the night.  

They do not threaten gaming at all in my opinion, they just seem to attract people who are not really gamers.

  Delvie

Novice Member

Joined: 5/18/06
Posts: 463

3/17/10 3:29:19 PM#39

This is a funding war. I actually think MMOs as a genre will survive just fine, because face it - MMO fans are a niche market. What will be interesting is what happens to the rest of gaming - I can't imagine that EA, Activision, and their investors are very happy to watch Zynga. Not to mention what Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony are feeling right now.

It might actually be healthy for PC Gaming - remember the dead gaming platform, no one will play games on their PC anymore - that was the forecast a few years ago from all the big publishers/console makers.

I played Farmville for a while, until family got way to competitive. In retrospect it was hilarious to watch my sisters and brothers have melt downs over berries and which had the better barn. It was fun for a while, played it longer than I've played many games including some MMOs. Parts of it are more Sims like and part of it is frankly just like a lot of MMOs - a grind fest.

It is healthy for the game developers to be discussing grind fests, because they truly lack creativity. Farmville really does have the whole levelling for your carrots (and other edibles) thing mastered. I'm waiting for a review that compares the grind in a new MMO to Farmville - we now have a standard that can be measured against.

As an example - is there any difference (except for time) between planting/harvesting berries in Farmville and killing Salamandars in LOTRO (for a deed)? Farmville actually has LOTRO beat on this one, it takes less time, though you will have to do something else for the hours that the berries are growing.

What will be really kewl is if more in depth games tackle Facebook. I can't wait to see what Firaxis does with Civ on Facebook.


 

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  DarLorkar

Elite Member

Joined: 12/28/07
Posts: 589

3/17/10 3:34:17 PM#40

Social games are just that, social. Good for what they target, families.

Just in my wife's family, she has 2 sisters, nephews, nieces, a brother, and even her 60+ year old mother spend a few minutes a day on face book and farm town.

Just another way besides e-mail,  or the phone to keep in contact.

None of them actually spend cash to add to their farms, and when my wife is ready and has time to play games, she goes on-line and plays with her gaming friends. DAOC, FE, are the 2 games she spends time on now. She does not consider farm town a game, just an extension of face book that she and her family uses to talk and visit with and about, a few minutes each day.

The vast majority of people are the same as my wife and her family i would imagine, never spend cash on these sites just use them to keep in contact a little each day. By the way, none of the others in her family on face book, play other on-line games now or have they in the past.

Just a social site that they can chat for a few minutes if they happen to be online at the same time and leave a message for them each day.

I do not think that there is much competition between the 2, On-line games and the social sites. As i said, just in my wife's family, the ones that have or will play and pay for on-line games have and will continue to do so, but not on the social sites, they go with the regular on-line games.

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