My Empire, a Facebook game developed by Playfish, seems to not being too well. According to AllFacebook.com, My Empire went from 1.4 monthly active users on January 15th to 1.1 million on February 14th. The decline, a shocker to most, has the social gaming community baffled. Electronic Arts, the development company that aquired Playfish back in November of 2009, is doing well compared to other developers: it is ranked sixth with 36.3 million monthly active users. If EA is doing so well, why is it that My Empire is not?
The above question, asked on Quora (a question based database), deserves some analysis. My Empire's concept is relatively similar to that of CityVille, FarmVille and FrontierVille — build, build and build. However, My Empire falls short of the other games like it on the market. Why is that so? If you were to review the responses on Quora, you would find a few interesting answers.
One individual blames Playfish for their lack of, "focus and drive toward massive profitability." He then goes on to explain that Playfish games have themes that are constantly better than its competitors, but for some reason lacks the ability to pull the trigger. This reasoning, interesting in itself, makes sense. Zynga, a gaming development company that is leading the market with games in My Empire's genre, focuses more on the profitability of games. Marketing within a game is a strategy that Zynga has down solid, unlike Playfish.
Another respondent claims that My Empire's failure has to do with it being created by Playfish China. His reasoning for My Empire's fall was the lower production costs in the region, which in return produces lower salaries. Even though this answer may seem valid, I tend to disagree. I have played social games by small time developers, and I have played games that I enjoyed more than larger titles on the market. Just because a game was created by individuals with lower salaries, does not mean that a game will be lacking in substance.
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