FarmVille Model may make its way in PC games
For almost a decade, PC gaming was nearly in limbo. Few AAA games that were released to consoles made their apparency as PC titles [I’m not talking about console exclusivities, as Mario or Metroid, but about third parties titles, as Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden or Metal Gear Solid] and there were even fewer exclusive games. But in the last years, this is [slowly] changing and even Microsoft, which hadn’t released any PC title for over 5 years, has announced new games for the platform.
But while AAA games are crawling back to PCs, the platform now shelter a different type of inhabitant: the casual/social videogames. Though those games are generally seen by hardcore games or old gamers as a “silly” or “too easy” ride, it’s hard not to take into account the amount of people, hours and money involved in those games. Two weeks ago, the newcomer Zynga, responsible for Farmville and Mafia Wars, surpassed in worth the veteran Electronic Arts(EA).
EA was founded in 1982 and have been really relevant in the videogames market since then. The company main titles are sports themed videogames, movie franchises (as Harry Potter) and its own videogame franchises, as Need for Speed, Medal of Honor, The Sims and Battlefield. Zynga was founded in July 2007 and makes social facebook games. Zynga’s revenue come from in-game payments for special items and partnerships with businesses.
But Zynga wasn’t the only casual game news lately. Last week, a Japanese developer of social games claimed to make 30 times more per user than Facebook and 15 times more than Zynga. This prosperity in the social/casual game market may not only be the reason why AAA game developers are coming back to PC but also suiting as a role model for those games. Cevat Yerli, president and CEO of Germany-based game development studio Crytek, believe in this influence and wrote this interesting article to Kotaku. According to Cevat, PC Games will become more and more alike the “Zynga Economic Model”, in which several parts of the game will be free of charge and open to all users while premium content will be charged.
Since Zynga’s economic model is one of its games most noticeable caracteristics, I automatically link it to all other Zynga’s game characteristics, from social aspects to difficulty. Though I agree with Juul that casual games are the only link to videogames possible for most people and that’s why the should be encouraged, we can’t forget that there are still some hardcore and old gamers out there that don’t fell any challenge in most games of this generation.