Not all social games developers are in love with Zynga's
business model. Some are bucking against what Tiny Speck's Stewart Butterfield
is calling a "scorched earth policy" that will do far more harm in the long run than what helps the industry now.
Butterfield is the co-founder of Tiny Speck, which recently launched the sleeper MMO hit Glitch
. While both Glitch
and Zynga's games are browser-based and use microtransactions to fund the titles, the similarities end there. Butterfield says that he is adverse to how Zynga creates artificial walls in its games: "The fundamental design of the game became 'Here's a stop sign in your gameplay, you can stop now and come back in a day, or you can keep on playing and it will cost you three bucks, or a buck, or ten bucks, or whatever it is.'"
Butterfield called Zynga's approach "unsavoury" and said that it leads to burned-out players and a "lame future" for the genre where gamers are unwilling to return. Ultimately, he predicts that people will forget Zynga's efforts entirely: "They won't be as into it as someone who's playing WoW
is in to WoW
, or someone who's playing EVE
is into EVE
, or even someone who's playing Civilization IV
is into Civilization IV
. It's a much lighter touch."
For more Stewart Bufferfield goodness, make sure to check out our interview with him
on Massively Speaking!