I’ve been playing a game on facebook. That game is rising in popularity, and why not, it’s a tried and true game and formula. CityVille was created by the same developers of FarmVille. Yes, Zynga has expanded its gaming portfolio. I have come to a realization that both FarmVille and CityVille is sending a message to developers. For one, in the late 1990’s we’ve seen some games that have farming elements – One of the most revered farming games of them all is Harvest Moon. But it has not met with a high demand for farming games. Although, at the time, the internet was pretty new, and the technology wasn’t as advanced as it is right now. Online gaming didn’t reach the mass-market yet.
For two, Viva Pinata has attracted enough market attention enough for a company like Zynga to come up with a solution for a better farming game, and they decided – “What the hell? Lets innovate this niche!” And so they did, and they did it on a platform that has been rising in popularity, it is now one of the most popular facebook games or mobile game on the market.
CityVille on the other hand is Zynga’s answer to a game like …Sim City. I dunno about you, but Electronic Arts has already lost a window of opportunity with CityVille on the market. If there’s a franchise to revive, it’s Sim City. So, what you waiting for, Electronic Arts? You don’t need to copy CityVille, all you need to do is revive the franchise and improve on it.
While you’re at it, why don’t you bring The Sims and other simulation games that is in your portfolio and put it on facebook, and mobile phones? I know someone that bought a computer just for The Sims. Yes, you heard me, just for one game.
This is also a message to other video game developers: If you have a simulation game that allows you to build, to harvest, to collect, to “loot,” to farm out stuff, and what have you. THIS is the time to either revive, reboot, or create a new Intellectual Property. And if you have a simple game to release on facebook, NOW would be the time. Now.
I’m going to run down the list of companies off the top of my head:
SEGA: Bring Columns to the mass market through mobile games, and yes, put it on facebook. I see a lot of people on mobile phones and facebook playing a game like Columns.
Natsume: Assuming you still own the trademark rights to the Harvest Moon name, its time you get back into the game. You’ve got a tough competition out there, but you have years of experience and marketshare over this Zynga.
Square Enix: You guys have a habit of including a farming element in some of your Final Fantasy games. So, my question: Why not a stand-alone game?
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