Archive for February, 2012


With Zynga’s less-than-stellar IPO last fall (going from $10.00 to $9.50 on opening day and down to $9.00 the next), people are seriously considering the lasting value of Facebook games.  Zynga reported stable (rather than growing) DAU in the last few quarters, despite launching a number of successful games (including Castleville and Empires & Allies), suggesting they are predominantly shifting users from one game to another.  This lack of investor confidence seems to be truly just in Facebook games; Japanese social gaming company Nexon was considered to have a very successful IPO this past December, earning $1.2 billion early on.  So what’s wrong with Facebook? Continue reading

What Is A Game?

I’ve recently begun a bi-weekly column at a new tech blog – http://betavanguard.com.  I started with this post and will be cross-posting my columns here, for your convenience.

To start this series, it seems apt to cover what I consider makes something a “game” – since it’s a term tossed around pretty loosely nowadays.  I’m inspired largely by the podcast RadioLabs; they host an interesting discussion on the power and purpose of games during this podcast.

I believe games must have two components:

1)  A clear set of rules agreed upon by all parties and unchangeable until all parties once again agree.
2)  Established goal(s) or “winning” situation(s).  A “winning” situation need not indicate an endgame; a new goal can be established during or following a completed one.

To give a game lasting entertainment value, it requires one more variable: Continue reading