Zynga Exec Says They're The Steam Of Social Gaming
Author: William Usher
published: 2012-09-25 13:31:41
I don't know whether to laugh, frown or get fiery in a fit of rage, but Zynga comparing themselves to Steam is like a slap in the face to gaming culture, mainly because Zynga doesn't make, provide, develop or publish games, they create interactive money pits. But that's not what their VP of publishing thinks.
In an interview with GameIndustry.biz that we missed a few days ago, former Sony executive Rob Dyer, who is now the vice president of partner publishing at Zynga, says that the company's partnership publishing program is the way forward for Zynga. It's a mimic of the partnership program that EA has been running for a while, enabling Zynga to scavenge and find games and publish them without the overhead of direct developmental funding. Zynga has been exploring new methods outside of simply being a Facebook monopolizer, and having their own social platform is the perfect way to leverage growth.
According to Dyer...
"We're taking a a very meticulous approach - crawl, walk, run," ... "We're going from the walk to the run stage now; we're adding more and more. If you go back to the early days, we announced three, and then six, and 'hey, where are the games?' Everybody was scratching their heads. We've been doing it for the last 10 months, and now you get to see it; it's been happening, and off we go."
Don't worry, the quote about Steam is coming up and we're getting there, just had to get the laugh-holes lubed up for the money shot.
The process that Zynga is taking is basically to build up a monopoly and take over social gaming. Since they can't just make good games and build from there, the tactic they're using instead is to acquire smaller teams and get the products out there in hopes of making it big, like Draw Something, Mafia Wars or The Ville. Rinse and repeat when successful.
Despite a lot of hate from the core gaming community, Zynga sees themselves as a savior for the casual/social space, despite all the competition from the million-and-one other casual/social portals out there offering cheap mobile and browser based titles, with Dyer saying...
"It's going to get harder, much harder. I look at ourselves as the Steam of social. Steam's done a great job, but I was also there at the beginning when Steam first introduced this thing, and there's nothing easy about that."
I have no idea who Dyer is aiming to win over with that comment, but casual gamers don't really understand the fanboy-love for Steam so that comment falls on deaf ears with that crowd, and by no means are core gamers going to empathize with Zynga as the “Steam of social” games. The comment feels way out in left field for as far as I'm concerned.
Steam was about bringing quality games to an accessible platform, and while it was rocky at the start, Valve has aimed to do right by consumers, for the most part. Zynga is all about cashing in on the latest hotness and throwing out whatever doesn't work. The typical chew up and spit out routine.
It's more like “Zynga is the EA of social games”, but I guess Dyer is trying to win gamers over not turn them away, especially while the company is getting hammered in court right now over copyright infringement, because you know...they're the “Steam of social games”.
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