Op-Ed: Opinions on Zynga Suck

In an opinion piece (which was originally published on GAMEbriefs), Nicholas Lovell takes the author of the recent SF Weekly expose on Zynga’s business practices (FarmVillains) to task for his tone. One passage in the article that really raised Lovell’s ire:

“At a time when traditional ‘console’ videogames — the kind bought in a store and played on a computer or entertainment system such as a Sony PlayStation — aspire to be classified as works of art, it might seem odd that such confections as FarmVille enjoy widespread attention and financial success. In 2007, for example, publisher 2K Games released a spellbinding console game, BioShock, in which players make difficult ethical decisions in an underwater city-state founded on the libertarian ideals of Ayn Rand.

Next to such immersing products, Zynga’s games look cretinous.”

Lovell takes issue with this statement, calling it “snobbish arrogance” and follows it up with statistics on the popularity of Zynga’s games. After rolling out all those numbers, he says, “Gamers need to grow up.”

“So when will gamers stop sneering, stop hiding behind their bleating “but Farmville isn’t a game” and start realising that Zynga have done something that traditional games have never done.

They have made gaming something for everyone. Isn’t it time we applauded that?”

You can read the entire article at Gamasutra. The comments are also worth perusing.

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  1. 0
    Chaplain99 says:

    "Isn’t it time we applaud that?"

    Um, no, it is not.  What you have done is taken an exclusive medium of entertainment and COMMERCIALIZED it.  You have not broken ground on something amazing or breathtaking; you, Mr. Lovell, and your company have made something popular, not something unique.  You’ve merely brought a quasi-MMORPG to Facebook, much like colonists brought new and interesting diseases to the Americas.  In effect, you’ve merely tapped into a previously-unoccupied sector of the market.  This does not mean your game is "good," it means that it is "popular."

    And popularity, my dear Mr. Lovell, is a fleeting thing in modern markets.  :)

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  2. 0
    airford says:

    The problem that Mr. Lovell was talking about is real in that casual games are often bashed on quality, which really isn’t fair. Think of it in terms of books, Stephen King doesn’t write literary masterpeices (and sometimes his pacing is too slow for a snail) but still is respectable in its medium, or that trashy romance novels are written for a specific purpose.

    But frankly that wasn’t what the article was about, it was about Zynga’s practices. To then say that the entire is wrong due to that one point of opinion is ludicrous.

    Also:"They have made gaming something for everyone. Isn’t it time we applauded that?”

    Heh heh…That sounds like saying that the "end justify the means"

  3. 0
    Ashura01 says:

    oh suuuure, we can do that… OR we can blast this imoral company for it’s disgusting buisness practices. Dont get me wrong, I’m all for more people getting into videogames, but we’re talking about a game company that essentialy copied other developer’s games and got away with it. I dont care WHAT the result is, you do NOT get away with plagarizing other people’s work.

    Nice try Lovell, but no Cigar.

  4. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    Sure, buddy.  We should all praise everything that is popular, because that is the only possible criterion something can be judged by.  Thank you Stephanie Meyer for bringing vampires to the masses!  Thank you Transformers for bringing giant robots to the masses!  Thank you Taylor Swift for bringing country to the masses!  I am unable to criticize your works because they are popular!  Lucky you!

  5. 0
    FlakAttack says:

    Both authors are guilty of bringing the casual gaming debate into a place it doesn’t belong. This is supposed to be abount Zynga’s terrible business practices, not about the effects of casual gaming on the more traditional audience.

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