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

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Advanced Member

Joined: 7/27/04
Posts: 242

3/17/10 9:49:26 PM#81

OK - first off, I would have loved to show up to Metaplace, except that the first I heard of it was it's closure announcement.  :)

Now, as to the topic at hand.  Investment dollars are by-and-large driven by idiots.  The majority is always following behind the trend, investing in past success and generally riding the downward slope of a trend.  Check out the average success of the average investor (even professionals) - it's dismal, and it's mostly because humans are genetically programmed to follow the herd not lead it.

I fully agree that the easy money may fall on the heads of "social game developers" for the next while, but it's hardly cause to claim the death of the MMO.  No more than the advent of reality television heralded the death of complex scripted drama.  It's trendy and popular right now, but it will all balance out in the end (otherwise we'd be buying stuff from, playing with Neopets and watching bad John Hughes films).

Look at the movies.  Avatar does very well, so now everyone is jumping on the 3D bandwagon.  Most 3D movies will be crap, 3D TVs will be a footnote in history next to BetaMax, 3D channels will be stillborn and the world will keep turning.

I appreciate that it must be discouraging for folks like Raph to have been beating the VW drum for so long, only to see the money and success follow the diametrically opposite path, but the players are still out there.  A straight up (functional :P ) clone of SWG (as an example) could easily pull the same numbers as EVE Online - which as far as anyone can tell is perfectly profitable for CCP.

I have faith, but then I still play flight sims - a genre that's been out of favour for 15 or 20 years now it seems.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/31/08
Posts: 398

3/17/10 10:23:22 PM#82

You know, back in 1988 (or so) the Gameboy debuted with Tetris.   Tetris smashed sales records and made the Gameboy a household product.


The so-called business gurus said that the success of the hand held game system proved that consol and PC games would be extinct within a couple of years.


Look at how that turned out.


Social Gaming is a hot, new trend, but it is not a threat to established gaming.  If anything, the cross over generated from newly recruited Farmville players might actually bring more players and new blood into the industry as social gaming players start to seek more complex and in depth content.


What MMO's need to do now, is not rehash Farmville, but to make games with engaging content that hooks some of these "new fish."


Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/06
Posts: 41

3/17/10 10:54:47 PM#83

OK - I'm back from checking on my crops in Farmville  (grin!).  Sorry - couldn't help that.


Yes - engaging content to pull in other people -- but I'd also like to add -- easy interface, easy to start, and no people who are mean.


I don't know how you do that., particularly the no people who are mean part.  It's hard to explain, but one of the nice things about Facebook is yes, it's a public space (sort of) but you know the people in your network at least a little, and people in your network tend to be generally nice.  It's a different sort of experience.  Now of course people in MMOs can be nice, but often it takes some looking to find the people you click with, and we all know how it goes in the public space.  It's, well, public, and often not in a good way.  Some games have nicer people than others -- but you often get jerks, and gold sellers, because it's a public space.  It's not even the public space of a big city, where people tend to ignore you.  It's the public space of a world where people bug you and attempt to take what's yours.


If it was me,  aside from stearing people to games their family and friends were playing, I'd probably steer them to an intanced game like Guild Wars, though there's the interface.  The GW interface is not particularly difficult but if you've never done it -- it can be daunting. 



Novice Member

Joined: 5/03/04
Posts: 4

3/17/10 10:58:37 PM#84
Originally posted by SnarlingWolf

It is growth only in the sense that there are more ways to get money out of making games.


I have been playing games since before 3D, before color even (jumpman rocked on that green text monitor we had). For a while there was real growth, with technologies improving and new immersive gaming coming out. There was wolfenstein and Doom which ushered in a new age of gaming. Followed by Descent and Duke Nukem 3D which explored further into 3D. I played many shooters for a while (Quake, Heretic etc.) and they were all more advanced but kind of the same game.


I remember when we first got nintendo and thought it was amazing. I remember when Mario Kart first appeared. I remember thinking no game could surprise me anymore and then Half-Life came around. The characters actually followed you with their eyes and head when talking to you. The game actually scared you and you never knew what would be around the next corner. It was amazing.


I remember playing The Realm and being amazed that all those other characters walking around were other people, I remember being excited when UO was getting ready to release because it was even more amazing then The Realm. I remember finding a virtual 3D chat room way back then (amazing how the majority of chat rooms and forums are still just text and login names when 3D virtual chat rooms were invented something like a decade ago).


I remember playing Battlefield for the first time and thinking the concpet of people on foot, people in tanks, in planes, in jeeps all at the same time was amazing.


But in the last ~10 years it's slowly become more disturbing. First there was Halo on the Xbox. Nothing about this game was original or new. I mean come on it was even a space marine in green armor (Doom). But because it was released on console, all of the people who thought playing console games were cool but playing PC games made you a dork suddenly found the FPS genre and thought Halo was the most amazing game in all of history. These same people had no idea of the amazing games before this and how much better most of them were. Thus the Halo franchise, an extremely unoriginal franchise, became one of the best ever.


WoW came along and did nothing new with MMOs, not a single solitary thing. But all the people who thought playing regular games like Warcraft was cool but playing MMOs was for nerds suddenly decided to try the genre. Instantly they all though the most amazing game had ever been created, oh and how amazing and new and original it was! They had no idea how every concept in WoW had been lifted from another type of game. And thus the best selling MMO of all time was born.


Web games started to show up, and a company made a little game called bejeweled. Suddenly people who though gaming on a PC or console was ridiculous or just for kids found out that gaming can be fun. Bejeweled rocketed to one of the best selling games ever.


Web games where you built up land, or had armies, or had gangs, and you had turns and could click on adds or use money to advance your stuff had been around for a long long time. But suddenly a company decided to tie one into face book. Suddenly all these face book users who though wasting time in progressive web games was for nerds thought casual web "gaming" was the coolest thing, and SO ORIGINAL!!! Suddenly farmville becomes the most profitable game around.



Every time you dumb down gaming, or completely copy games that have always exsited but put them in a new media or technology people go nuts and "discover" gaming. All this does is encourage the industry to not be original, not create new things, not challenge the market or their players. It does encourage copying and dumbing down and allowing people to spend much more money on the same product. Gaming is dying, and has been for a while and it's only getting worse and worse. Real games will be rare in the future and it will be sad.


But it's how this country rolls now a days, we're in a "milk your customers of every last cent while giving them less" age. Hopefully it turns around but it seems almost too profitable to ever change.



Sorry I didn't plan on it becoming that long of a post, but this issue does bother me.

   This post really stuck out after reading the 8 pages here so far and the amazing thing about this post is that  Farmville is a rip off of another facebook game called Farmtown which was actually first.  I played it was a bit tougher (meaning more monotonous) graphics were not as pretty and then came Farmville a bit easier to farm, plant and harvest didn't need friends to help harvest fact  you could not have friends come help harvest more solo friendly, sound familiar to anyone?

   I was looking and reading all of the posts to see if someone had caught this already, hell maybe even the person writing the article I thought would have made mention that Farmville is a knockoff copy cat game.

   I guess I can somewhat see why in today's industry it doesn't pay to be the innovator. It pays to make the best copy of what could have been a popular idea. Just by adding more colors, appealing to a bit broader audience and throw in a few cookies for good measure.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/15/08
Posts: 2208

3/17/10 11:00:20 PM#85
Originally posted by Pokota3

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.


How is it overstated? I played WOW for a week, I did not like it. Yet I can not deny that 8 million players obviously do and in a world were 100k players seems to make money having 8 million is pretty dominant. Is there another subscription based MMO with close to that number?


Novice Member

Joined: 8/15/08
Posts: 2208

3/17/10 11:13:17 PM#86
Originally posted by zethcarn

Sounds like a tin foil hat theory.  Farmville targets a completely different audience then that of MMORPGs.   Farmville might have more users then WoW but it's also a FREE game on the biggest online social network in the world,  Facebook.


Investors are not going to care which audience you attract, they care how big that audience might be. If Farmville has 80 million, investors might be more inclined to listen to them then say a company struggling to run a traditional MMO with 50 thousand people playing.


Free games are still making MONEY. Just because getting in is free does not mean they do not have ways of making money. Take a game like DDO it makes more money now as a F2P then it ever did with a traditional subscription based plan.


While Farmville and the like are not threats to steal players(you can do your Farmville for the day in 5 minutes) they are a threat to revenue streams. If you were going to invest or place an ad would you prefer 50k might see it or 80 million? It does not take a degree in marketing to know the answer there. There is a reason ads during the SuperBowl cost so much.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/08
Posts: 386

3/18/10 12:06:32 AM#87

Recently there was an article here about making MMOs more accessible.  My big question is: why can't a single virtual world cast it's net into the various markets?

Is it so hard to visualize a virtual world with more than a single entry point?  Why not offer a free browser based "factoryville", where those players produce consumables and some of the raw materials for an MMO?  This would be your free w/cash shop for various upgrades element.

OK, that covers the crappy "social" game part.  Now we can talk about the "real" MMO.  The only difference would be the economy would affect both the MMO and the "social" game.  The MMO player would gain access to the larger world along with the "factoryville" portion, a very large advantage.  The factory upgrades would be available in the world, along with markets not available to the "social" gamers.

This offers huge advantages to "traditional" models.  For "real" gamers, we could play with our non-gaming friends.  At the same time, our non-gaming friends would have a little taste of the MMO life.  It's similar to the Warcraft effect on WoW subs, but stronger since the 2 games would be tightly tied together.  The "social" game is both advertising and a pre-purchase time investment.  Think of the crappy communities we tolerate because we are so time invested into a game before we realize how bad they really are.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/12/06
Posts: 1731

3/18/10 12:33:21 AM#88

 I have hated Facebook since its inception. I continue to hate Facebook and all it's progeny with every fiber of my being. Words cannot accurately describe my vitriol.

Bans a perma, but so are sigs in necro posts.



Novice Member

Joined: 2/09/08
Posts: 347

Only the dead have seen the end of war- Plato

3/18/10 12:46:47 AM#89
Originally posted by Kordesh

 I have hated Facebook since its inception. I continue to hate Facebook and all it's progeny with every fiber of my being. Words cannot accurately describe my vitriol.


I hate facebook as well, more than Myspace.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 97

3/18/10 1:01:31 AM#90

Your article missed a big point, the whole reason that a shit game like farmville can pull in such numbers is that traditional mmo's tend to be shit games that charge a $15.00 subscription to play. I do not forsee this changing anytime soon as long as developers can keep getting by with releasing bug infested trash and charging players a premuim to play it. I imagine that things will only get worse for the industry as a whole.

Developers need to see this as a wake up call


Novice Member

Joined: 6/25/08
Posts: 61

3/18/10 1:09:38 AM#91

wow this came out of left field.

have you seen farmville ?

i really dont think its a threat to mmo's or fun games in any way shape or form.

the only reason it has such numbers is entire families get involved in it over face book.


and if you still see social gaming as a threat.

then you should make more MMO"s like SWG used to be. it was that happy middle between social gaming and hard core gaming  and had something in it for every one. thats why people loved it. there was far more then just combat to do in that game. and the combat ,social sides had to rely on one and other and  while the story was off the immersion factor was off the charts  and its why they left in droves when they made the game the same as every other mmo. 

thats what happen it wasnt just a bunch of whining players who couldn't handle small changes it was a close-nit community. that just had there unique and immerse game that held them together taken away from them and replaced with a more generic version of its self.

but company's are too quick to look at its very rocky history and say it was just a bad game and end up ignoring all that was good and unique about it. the aspects that were a true brilliant masterpiece of game design when it was in its prime. hell some of those aspects remain unmatched to this day.

i still to this day have yet to see a game that has such a good community in it as it ounce had.

you need to make more games like that and less pure combat games like what has bean coming out.

but again none of that will happen because im shore this is all flying over your head. because who am i to say  whats wrong with the genera?   im just a lowly git of a player  who out side of gaming is good at making accurate observations. im not some marketing firm or focus group so why listen to me.

and if mmo's keep going the way they are going for the last 2 years generic and almost purely combat orented  with no real meat or substance  to the game.

then Raph Koster's (the designer of swg before the nge btw ) prediction is likely to be very accurate.

........ / BANG!!!!!   had to kill the ranting side of my brain. lol :P

sorry about all that  got carried away.

while my point stands.

and while i do speak about swg a lot i really feel the example applies hear. 

but the fact remains that farmville would never be able to become a threat to any form of gaming  its just that simple.

hell iv messed with farmville even go on it ounce a day for about 20 min  its really not that impressive but makes for a good distraction.

 o and sorry i didnt start with this but i still want to say it made for an interesting read. :D


“The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about”

just because the cake is a lie dosnt mean there cant be 3.1415926535etc etc (Pi) :P


Novice Member

Joined: 8/01/03
Posts: 15

3/18/10 1:21:49 AM#92

If they're making so much money, why would they IPO?  Make a quick buck and disappear before any "creative accounting" can be uncovered possibly?

I suspect it's actually difficult to monetise a casual game like Farmvile, it sounds easy, but folks will only tolerate so much RMT and/or adverts being shoved in their face.  They may make a killing for a while, but once they cross that line (and someone is sure to cross it), the whole genre (browser games) will be marked with "that" taint.  You know the taint I mean, the one that's starting to cling to Ubisoft and Activision, the one that was on EA and Sony for a long while (which they are only just now starting to come out from under....but still have a long way to go...gamers, especially MMO gamers, are quick to anger, slow to cool).

And I also expect that the people playing these simple little browser games will eventually start to look around for something different/more challenging and, thanks to the icebreaker effect of having played "online games", will be more ready to actually try something a bit more "hardcore" like Free Realms/WoW (hardcore for them I mean, not the typical denizen from MMORPG :)).

This will just expand the market, not divert folks from one to the other (though some of that will happen of course, especially if someone actually makes a browser game with, like, some actual content/gameplay that's actually worth paying for).


Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/08
Posts: 386

3/18/10 1:47:47 AM#93
Originally posted by Scorpius

If they're making so much money, why would they IPO?  Make a quick buck and disappear before any "creative accounting" can be uncovered possibly?


Maybe, but there are many other reasons.

Why do you see "cash flow" or other such "easy money" systems sold?  I'd suspect it's for the same reason they are doing an IPO.

There are few entry barriers to the market they service and they know their market will soon be over saturated.  A bloated market will mean more people splitting the RMT take and dropping the ad value.  The IPO right now, when the Koolaid drinkers and headline chasers are all wet about the money they'll make is brilliant.  They will never be worth more than they are right now.  They are the recognizable name in their market, showing good/great returns in a still semi-exclusive market.


BTW: totally random but did anyone else get a Demetri Martin vibe from Jesse Schell's presentation?


Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/06
Posts: 17

3/18/10 2:01:34 AM#94

 All I know is, if I have to open a facebook/myspace account to play my now non-real time MMO's with people I'll quit doing MMO's and start playing single player games. If that stops I suppose I'll go for a walk. I'm just not moving to farmville.


Age of Conan Advocate

Joined: 1/16/07
Posts: 7095

The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them.

3/18/10 2:02:37 AM#95

A colleague took a technical call at work today from a regular customer who was having IP issues playing a facebook flash game. The lady and her son were playing on seperate laptops and couldn't trade each other due to system flagging them as having the same IP address. Suffice to say the issue was resolved by provisioning the modem for free additional IP addy, but not before the customer admitted that she spends roughly $300 a month on buying and selling virtual goods. Absolutely crazy, I couldn't believe it.  Never played those facebook games but they seem to have got a mother and her son addicted in a big way. My colleague also stated she said the customers grandmother also plays. I can see her blowing her pension too now.

My point is the threat is when it all comes crashing down and the blame with be on the game. Then due to ignorance any online game will get the blame and lumped in together with the bad games, the cash farms and RMT done in a bad way.

Conan Vids Corsair 800d Case/i7 930 @ 4.4ghz/EVGA x58 760 Classified/Corsair Dominator 12GB 1600/Corsair HX1000 PSU/GTX 580x2/Intel X25-M SSD/2x WD 1TB Blacks/Corsair H90 cooler / 1x 28" 1900x1200 monitor/ G-19 Keyboard/ G500 mouse


Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/15/08
Posts: 152

3/18/10 2:23:02 AM#96

I'm maybe a little of topic... But Jesse Schell's vision is one of the most scary things i have ever seen. And i do find it quite probable...

Its worse then Orwells 1984... Its a self inflicted tyranny with no real tyrant to fight... Ugh... I hope i'll die before that happens.

I've been uplinked and downloaded, I've been inputted and outsourced. I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading.

I'm a high-tech low-life. A cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, bi-coastal multi-tasker, and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.

I'm new-wave, but I'm old-school; and my inner child is outward-bound.

I'm a hot-wired, heat-seeking, warm-hearted cool customer; voice-activated and bio-degradable.

RIP George Carlin.

  User Deleted
3/18/10 2:59:02 AM#97

80 Million players my A$$.   80 Million people who clicked on the link because somebody on there friend list clicked the link which in turn advirtised it on everyballs wall. Its a bogus number.  Its like McDonalds trying to say it has 10 billion served just because that many people have driven through one of thier parking lots. 



Novice Member

Joined: 1/26/06
Posts: 46

Hexagonically challenged

3/18/10 3:26:59 AM#98

There is nothing new in these changing trends. We have seen it in the game-publishing business over the last 35 years.

The wargamers of old lamented the end of the(ir) world when roleplaying started in the mid-70's. They did it again, when fantasy/scifi-themed wargames followed the roleplaying wave around 1980. They cried out again when the personal computer started running games in the mid 80´s. Next wave the great flood of tradedable cardgames in the 90's. Germangames, mmogs to some extent ....

So where is board-wargaming today? It flourishes with unseen numbers of publications as the internet made indie publishing possible. Today you design a wargame (but not yet developed and tested), show it to the various forums and people will preorder (or not). When it is clear, this will work, it will be finished and published. On top you get a much closer relation between the designers and their audience. Wargaming and its community is very different today then 35 years ago, but damn, it is quite good.





Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5693

3/18/10 3:34:12 AM#99

Mr Jennings has missed the similarity this movement has to the way console games grew at the expense of PC gaming. Consoles do not have the computing power of a PC and did not even originally require a monitor, a TV would do.

The graphical quality of games dropped and the control systems became easier and more limited. In addition to this the number of people playing games increased dramatically. You can see this same process at work in social gaming.

Since then console games have got graphically better but never reached the PC standard and the control systems are still simplistic. But along the way we lost genres of games and others became a minority interest. Adventure games, Flight Simulations, City Simulations and RPG’s come to mind; all genres which were nearly lost as gaming went console. The games were not initially selling less, but once we had consoles other gaming styles like FPS and Racing games were selling more. So gaming companies invested their time and money in those kinds of games. The genres I mentioned saw less investment, started to look second rate and because of that sold even less.

If companies can produce crap games and get millions to play them what need do they have for players like us who have such high demands? As an investor I know what I would be backing, and its not quality gaming unfortunately.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/08
Posts: 1221

3/18/10 4:06:25 AM#100
Originally posted by Korhindi

You know, back in 1988 (or so) the Gameboy debuted with Tetris.   Tetris smashed sales records and made the Gameboy a household product.


The so-called business gurus said that the success of the hand held game system proved that consol and PC games would be extinct within a couple of years.


Look at how that turned out.


That's actually pretty much 100% true in Japan.  Handheld gaming completely dominates console games (much less PC).

R.I.P. City of Heroes and my 17 characters there

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