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

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Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/07
Posts: 208

3/18/10 4:25:33 AM#101

I thought you waste your time with flash games, but facebook games are a new low  ^^ Still real gamers like us will never ever play those " games ". It just doesnt feel right ^^ Proud that I dont have facebook ^^


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 1204

3/18/10 4:51:40 AM#102

I'll just  say the analysis by Koster linked in that article was a very well written one, despite being a tad overly gloomstruck. Nice focus on the core of what makes these games tick and a solid finger on the paradigm shift online gaming (and all popular gaming, for that matter) is going through.

Interesting times, really, all this is good stuff to think about - and reading an analysis like the one Koster wrote there makes nice food for thought.



Advanced Member

Joined: 6/21/06
Posts: 416

3/18/10 5:07:55 AM#103

very nice write up. what we are seeing is end of beginning. gaming has become full-fledged industry, same as movies. there is hollywood, bollywood, arty, underground. hopefully, plenty for everyone's taste. and if not, it will become increasingly easier to create your own vision of "proper" game. interesting times ahead.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3067

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

3/18/10 6:30:30 AM#104

I remember hearing about farmville.  There was a news article about 3 months back about a lady on the Dr Phill show who lost her 3 kids to social services because she became hooked on the game and played it 24/7 lost her job  her house and evrything.  Then went on the Dr Phill show whining about it all, and while in the guest warmup room there was a laptop she logged in and they had to literally drag her to the stage, when asked about it she said she was worried she had not been able to log in for 3 months that her crops would have died. Worried about virtual crops and not her kids.

So it must be adictive.



Elite Member

Joined: 12/24/04
Posts: 5260

3/18/10 6:59:18 AM#105

So much handwringing over a fad. Anybody remember Creatures? The game that was supposed to revolutionize gaming with it's alife evolutionary DNA? It was a cute fuzzy fad with all the depth of Saran wrap. Remember tamagotchis? Pet rocks? It's all the same thing with more and more technology wrapped around it. These things work because people behave like herds of sheep when you get enough of them together, but like sheep these herds have the attention span of a gnat. The first versions make money because they're novel. The follow ups slink away to a well deserved obscurity.

"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 1204

3/18/10 7:44:14 AM#106

Think about Push technology. When Microsoft was singing praises of it back in the mid-90s, most thought it was just a fahionable concept that was a non-starter in practice. Push-is-the-future people said: "You're not going to the info, it's coming to you! This is a total paradigm shift as far as online experience is concerned! This whole thing is going towards pro content and passive consumption once again! Essentially a personalized TV! Power to the corporations!"

Other people - admittedly including myself - thought it hadn't taken off even after a couple of years and that it'd never take off: ICQ and other highly-interactive communication tools were rather painting a picture of a more "pushy-pully" future.

In the end, yeah, the internet did not become just an "online TV"... but in hindsight, the Push concept *does* colour our whole online experience now. You can see it in RSS feeds, personalized channels you pick for websites that keep you informed, and even your Twitter and Facebook feeds. The concept did prove successful in the end - we're now being "fed" alright, it's just that we're also doing the feeding ourselves, contrary to what the "Pushers" (heh) envisioned.

Farmville itself *is* a fad as all games are, but the new angle on primate-brain-exploitation that it's based on (I'd say this is the core argument and it makes everything else look just petty) is here to stay. I don't see it as being the only thing, but I can see it colouring the whole gaming culture.

Some other time maybe we can even talk about how the brain works when it comes to effort, risk and reward and its intrinsic tit-for-tat mechanisms. It's quite surprising stuff, really, and says a lot about gaming.





Novice Member

Joined: 1/26/06
Posts: 46

Hexagonically challenged

3/18/10 8:25:31 AM#107
Originally posted by Haradeas

I thought you waste your time with flash games, but facebook games are a new low  ^^ Still real gamers like us will never ever play those " games ". It just doesnt feel right ^^ Proud that I dont have facebook ^^


Thats because us gaming nerds already had our networks established when facebook came along.





Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 699

3/18/10 8:43:36 AM#108
Originally posted by RavingRabbid

There is no "war" between social games and regular console or MMO's imo. I play Castle age, happy Island, vampire wars, and Starfleet commander on the facebook in the morning, but its only for about 10-20 min  tops. Console and MMO's give me far more depth and content than the social games by far. The social games are fun and quick yes but dont equal the satisfaction of console or MMO gaming. Bottom line.

(BBBBBBWWWWWAAAHHHHH gives double plunger salute to Tudors Show!)


I disagree......

WOW has burried both old and new competition based off their "something for everyone (including casuals)" model.

I remember in the 2000 guiness book of world records that Ultima Online held the record for the largest online gameing subscriptions at somewhere around 200,000 subs.

4 years later WOW releases and its subs are stated to be over 8 million.  People interested in traditional MMO gaming just didn't grow by 7.8 million.  WOW brought in casual gamers from consoles and other computer generes like FPS & RTS to expand thier market past what was thought to be the original pool of potential customers.

As a result, MMO gaming development has changed.....leaving many traditional MMO gamers left wanting because of all the concesions made to please the new comers to the MMO market.


We are seeing a similar shift with these social games (or atleast the game companies are interpreting it that way).  If the publishers chase the dollars and subs, they will expand what we consider "traditional gaming" to apease the SUPER CASUALs that pick up and get board with these cheap little games in under a month.


You say it doesn't effect you as a MMO gamer?  When publishers start dropping MMO budgets to develop more short cycle gaming experiences to capitalize on the NEW and EMERGING gameing market, you might have a different tone then.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/07/09
Posts: 383

3/18/10 8:44:19 AM#109

Investors must love this with the next-to-nothing startup costs and huge return-on-investment. 

However, this is nothing but your typical trend-following for a quick buck.  The immediate social trend was capitalized on, and will soon be saturated as the market floods.  Those who determine the next social trend quickly are those who strike it rich.


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/08
Posts: 699

3/18/10 8:52:46 AM#110
Originally posted by sn0wblind00

Investors must love this with the next-to-nothing startup costs and huge return-on-investment. 

However, this is nothing but your typical trend-following for a quick buck.  The immediate social trend was capitalized on, and will soon be saturated as the market floods.  Those who determine the next social trend quickly are those who strike it rich.


True....but what has been the trend?

It seems that publishers & developers keep dumbing down the games to apeal to more people.  The price of expanding the market to groups of people who aren't already interested in gaming is that it dilutes the content and experience for those people who do enjoy games.

Many traditional MMO gamers say that WOW cheapened the experience due to their efforts to reach gamers outside of the MMO genere.

The same can be said with publishers cheapening the gaming experience due to their effrots to reach people outside of traditional gaming.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/10/10
Posts: 239

3/18/10 9:02:17 AM#111

yup yup- It started with text based MUD's (some of the most advanced games ever made but highly inaccesable) then went to graphical Muds, then the first MMORPG's like UO and Meriadian 59 and even (to a lesser degree) the original Everquest. This was gamings heyday as far as a good medium between complexity and playability.

The experience has been steadily cheapening as the "masses" are being catered to, games are being dumbed down and "casual" friendly- WOW really did kill the MMO.

BUT even WOW is going to look highly complex as games continue the downward trend to get every man, woman and child into MMO gaming. Cash Shops are going to be the rule of the day and things are going to forever change.

Its a sad and horrible downward spiral- And not just with MMO's, this trend is happening with all forms of PC/Console gaming. =(



Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 1130

3/18/10 9:20:34 AM#112
Originally posted by dzikun

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.


Is this the "vision" you are talking about?


 Great speech. Listen if you got 30min.


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Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/28/09
Posts: 921

Played: Shadowbane, WoW, WAR, AOC, Aion, SWTOR, Rift, Tera, Neverwinter, FFXIV

3/18/10 11:01:25 AM#113

Oh please. It takes me back when some so-called important peeps were saying "cassettes are going to kill the music industry" or "videoclips are going to kill the radio"

So what, Farmville has a huge player base. Yes it may attract some investors into producing clones. Though those games are all short lived, and may all disappear or move away should Facebook be replaced. This is Web, where it's all quick instant hype. Any giant may be born and die within months. Go back 10 years ago and see how different it was back then.

While the Web is a fast moving zone, videogames are more less the same than before, except there are a lot more customers and a lot more money. The videogame industry surpassed the movie industry quite some time ago. If a market/genre is under invested, a company somewhere will end up attacking it (though remember that the development of a game takes 2 to 5 years).

It's not because it's being brought in the news and your girlfriend is making you play that any other genre will drop from the surface. I used to play simcity waaay back. Maxis dropped its development a bit after it got bought by EA to focus on The Sims. I thought it was the end of the sequel, though another game company (Monte Cristo) decided to release its own clone to take over that market. (NOT saying it's perfect) This whole genre (city simulator) has been shadowed by any hype brought by any AAA titles, though it has seen a release every 2-3 years for the last 20 years and it keeps going on.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/26/05
Posts: 461

3/18/10 11:04:22 AM#114

Farmville is not making, off it's 80 million players, what WoW is making off of its 11 mil subs.  Nuff said.  People play farmville in airports, at office meeting breaks.  All you need is a free facebook account and a netbook.  I'll wager some phones can play farmville as well.  How many netbooks and phones can play full MMO's.

Also, farmville has facebooks social backbone.  How many MMO's have a social networking site as good as facebook?  Maybe it's time to look into a social site to go along with your MMO.

gauge2k3 Xfire Miniprofile

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/08
Posts: 1686

All it takes for evil to succeed is for the good to stand by and do nothing

3/18/10 11:05:38 AM#115
Originally posted by brostyn
Originally posted by battleaxe

Haven't played farmville.  Never heard of it til today.  Looked it up - it's a free to play flash game tied to facebook that allows you to buy crap with real dollars to ... farm.  Farming?  Really?

Just goes to show you - you can sell anything on the internet - even virtual seeds.  The question is - how much money is this game really making, and is it legitimate?  Without real revenue numbers, there's no way to decide if this is even an issue.  Farmville's charity drive raised $321,000 by selling a sweet potato seed.  Wow's charity drive raised $1.1 million by selling a virtual pet.  Farmville makes nothing if people don't buy crap regularly.  Wow makes $15 per month per subscriber even if people don't play.  MMO's aren't going anywhere.


I disagree. Publishers want money. What happened when Diablo was a huge success? Everyone started making Diablo clones. What happened when WoW was a huge success? Everyone started to make WoW clones. Were those clones ever as good as the original? Not in my opinion. That doesn't change the fact that a lot of people made money off "the latest hype". Publishers are notorious for being momentum chasers, not momentum changers. Publishers see this new social gaming thing, and think its the net big thing. Do they understand it? I doubt it. They didn't understand why Diablo was fun, or why one couldn't copy WoW.

We will see a major slowdown in MMO development as everyone chases the social gaming revenue. I'd like to think this whole thing is a fad that only housewives, and people bored at work play. That's not going to change the fact publishers, you know the guys with the cash who make the decisions, will now be chasing this new fad for awhile. Clearly, trying to make a copy of WoW hasn't worked out so well for these guys. Right, Koster?




to a certain extent we get what we are given not what we want


Novice Member

Joined: 6/18/06
Posts: 41

3/18/10 1:19:20 PM#116

To me this is mostly sour grapes -- let's see, a bunch of people play Farmville or other facebook games, and they enjoy them.  But, since they aren't part of the supposed gaming tribe, they can't be "real" gamers and the games can't be real games.    Why is that?     I don't get it.  The games have gameplay, goals, advancement, even a social factor.  Yup, it's a game.  It may not be your kind of game, but it's a game.   Gaming extends to more people -- that's good.   Do you want it all to yourself so you have bragging rights?  That's just silly.   You can still play the games you enjoy.   Will everyone stop playing MMORPGs?  I don't think so.   I'm still seeing plenty of games on the market.    Will other games also have a market share?  Yes.  Guess everyone will have to deal with it.  Games are commercial venues and part of popular culture.  Sometimes I happen to like something that is popular, sometimes what I like isn't all that popular.  Sometimes what I like used to be popular, and becomes a niche product.  I'd be more concerned if I thought that all MMORPGs are going to go away.  I'm not seeing that -- though perhaps they won't hvae the dominant market share.  

Maybe the Facebook gamers will move to other sorts of games (like that RTS strategy game on Facebook) -- maybe they won't.   I think there's a huge market for a crossover game, for people who want something a little more involved.   But, whether they move to other games or continue to play Facebook games, It doesn't matter.  Now, can MMORPGs learn something from facebook games, aside from just being bitter about the whole thing -- which, again, is really funny.  I think so.   Games that play in a browser.  Games that are easy to pick up.  Games you can play with  your friends.  Games where you do something other than combat, though maybe combat could even work for the facebook games.      Don't assume that all games playable through facebook will stay the same.  There's a PvP game coming out - 3D too - Battle Punks.  Check it out.

It's also not all or nothing.  I know hard care gamers (even by the weird, in my opinion, definition around here) who also play Flash based games, the ones you see on Facebook.    Are they real gamers when they are playing LOTRO or Mass Effect 2, and not real gamers when they are playing Mafia Wars on facebook?   



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Joined: 11/06/08
Posts: 3

3/18/10 1:42:11 PM#117

As someone who has "played" (notice the quotes) Farmville for over a year I really think the industry is getting all in an uproar over nothing.  It's mindless, easy diversion that doesn't take up a lot of time.  I can do it over my morning coffee.  80 million players?  Maybe... for about 10 minutes a day... the dedicated ones might play 10 min in the morning, another 10 in the afternoon and another 10 at night.  It just plain doesn't take much time.  Compare that to the hours people can and do play their favorite MMORPG...  I'm sorry but trying to say something like Farmvile, Petville, Mafia Wars, etc... are real competition to MMORPG's is just silly. 


Novice Member

Joined: 5/28/04
Posts: 340

3/18/10 2:07:26 PM#118

seems to me that a mmo really would just have to make a free min game like this and just have it take 15-30 mins to play about 8 hours worth (check it in morning and evening) then have it report the points back to the real game with the points then spendable in some reasonable way.

With that in place they could then set it up where msging or intireaction between players give a minor point bonus and then make it compatable with the social network sites

So that way you expand into that network

Its all really simple it just would have to be done right both in game play of the mini game and the rewards

I suggest rewards that help others to increase social interaction



Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/04
Posts: 1827

"Just because it happens to you doesn''t make it interesting"

3/18/10 2:13:15 PM#119

Interesting new blog from koster on this very subject:

What core gamers should know about social games

His major points were:

1.Yes, Farmville is a game.

2. Yes, social games truly are social.

3. Yes, it is arguably even an MMO.

4. Yes, social games make money.

5. Social games are not just a fad.

6. No, social games won’t turn into core games.

7. But there’s hope for core gamers nonetheless


I enjoy seeing new genres and gaming styles come to life but I in no way think social gaming killed virtual worlds, MMo's etc. Just different strokes for different folks.

"If we don't attack them, they will attack us first. So we'd better retaliate before they have a chance to strike"


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1835

3/18/10 2:20:21 PM#120
Originally posted by Jaedor
Originally posted by Czargio

 A lot of people are trivializing this, or misunderstanding where the fear is coming from. Let me explain how I see it.

Take an example from these forums. You've probably read a few threads about people who complain that death penalties nowadays are too lenient, or maybe they want full corpse looting in their world pvp. You might shrug them off, or you might flame them and tell them that most people don't want that kind of game. It's true, games that are really challenging and punishing have become niche, and most people don't want to lose experience and gear when they die. The market shifted from those niche games, like UO, to more accessible games for more casual players, like WoW.

That's all well and good, if you're not one of those niche players who wants the UO experience. Those old school gamers now have to cling to games like Darkfall and Mortal Online, because there aren't as many developers or publishers who will make or fund games for a smaller market, when you've got this cash cow of casual players staring you in the face.

This has all already happened. the marginalization of the will of the older, more hardcore gamers.

The fear of these Facebook games is that these kinds of players (people who we don't even consider gamers) are going to be the main market that developers and publishers aim to please, and we are going to become the niche, the marginalized, the too-hardcore-to-warrant-attention crowd. We are going to become those same people we dismiss on these forums because they cling to archaic game mechanics and old school styles of entertainment. 



80 million players beats the WoW subscription base eightfold. You can bet Blizzard and every other game development company is paying attention to the kind of revenue stream Farmville is generating. And in every industry, where the money is tends to be where the development goes.

Understand something very critical.... 80 million USERS does NOT beat 8 million CUSTOMERS. The number of USERS something gets is irrelevent (actualy it's a COST center) UNLESS you can find some way to convert that traffic into revenue. Monitizing people who access your service for FREE is NOT as simple and straight-forward as many people assume. Actually it can be quite difficult. Many ventures have actualy failed to do so.

Now I have no doubt that Zynga and some other companies ARE making a decent chunk of change RIGHT NOW. Just like the first people cashing in on beanie babies and pet rocks and hoola hoops made a decent chunk of change in thier day. Right now it's a fad...and like ANY fad that hit's people are excited about it and curious and interested to see what is going on ( herd mentality). This is Natural....but it's also natural that when the novelity wears off...most fads fade away as quickly as they blossum.  The few people riding the initial wave of the fad ARE going to cash in quite nicely.... but most of the followers on (as in most fads) won' fact many will loose thier shirts with dreams of getting rich quick. Often the backlash of failed investments and the inevitable crash that follows can even end up taking down some of the folks on the leading edge of the wave if they are not carefull as the market "reacts" to failed expectations.  Smart companies and smart investors recognize this fact.

What remains to be seen is if social gaming has any "legs". I think it MAY have that there is a certain appeal for some people in these sort of super-casual social experiences. I expect that you'll probably see a few companies like Zynga and a few social games sticking around and making a bit of cash in future..... but I would highly doubt that it will be anywhere near the number that are hyped...or the huge, lasting sea-change that is being proclaimed with trepidation. MOST of the people trying to cash in on this phenomenon... will NOT.

What I do expect is that for a couple years, the investors with more cash then good sense (and it always amazes me what an endless supply there seems to be of these) who HAVE been throwing thier money at gaming companies after salivating at the success of WOW and a few other products will start throwing that money at the next "hot thing".... "social gaming".

It WILL be probably a couple of particulary tough/dry years for more traditional gaming companies to get funding.... but in the LONG term it likely will be a bit of a blip on the the market corrects itself.... and ultimately probably end up being a GOOD thing for the gaming industry as a whole....just as the dot-com burst was ULTIMATELY a good thing for the Tech industry...regardless of how painfull it was in the short.

Quite frankly MANY developers & projects HAVEN'T deserved the kind of investment money that has been so easly thrown at them the last few years. As much as they might like to gnash thier teeth about it....making the developers undergo a little bit better scrutiny before they get piles of actualy a GOOD thing for the industry as a whole...and certainly for it's consumers in the LONG TERM.

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