First and foremost, we're not even playing the game in the first innings of the social games. Zynga won that one. They came in and established ways of doing things and kinds of games, and they built a hell of a great business. If we're going to come in and do what they did, I think that would be a losing proposition.
Vice president of Making Fun, John Welch, said this in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz recently. Making Fun, a social games publisher owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, is headed for another direction in social games. Welch went on to say that Making Fun will leverage News Corp's channels across all forms of media to push its games, one of which could very well be the gaming news network IGN, according to a recent statement made by the corporation's digital group CEO Jonathan Miller. But if Zynga already won the first phase of the social gaming boom, why bother?
"Zynga isn't part of a major media company; they're again leader coming out of the first inning of the ball game, but I don't think anybody in their right mind thinks this game is anywhere near over," said Welch to Gamesindustry.biz. He goes on to make the point that games aren't going to become less widespread nor will mobile and social platforms become less sophisticated. Regardless, this still doesn't explain how Making Fun is going to beat Zynga to the next innovation in social games.
"Our first game out, which I can't say too much about, it's going to do something pretty revolutionary in the social games space: it has an ending. Name another social game that ends," Welch said. And he's got a point. No other details were given on how exactly this would work in a space that's dominated by persistent, evolving experiences, but he did give his reasoning. According to Welch, he doesn't want his customers to leave on a bad note after investing time (and hopefully money) in his social games because they simply grew bored of it.
So, let's get this straight: Welch's idea to beat Zynga to the punch is to make a compelling social game that's A. free to play; B. has an ending; and C. will involve micro-transactions somehow. I'm sure players are going to eat up his first two points, but will they want to invest their money in a game that ends when they've been trained to believe that their investments will last? We hope Making Fun is ready to rewire the brains of 250 million potential players.
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