Zynga has raised a bunch of money to keep going after their target of building a network of more casual games — a sort of Internet version of a publisher. In fact, ex-EA Chief Creative Officer Bing Gordon has joined their board.
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus says:
He is super-involved in product strategy, brings the gaming DNA to us, and is an amazing CEO coach. He’s already stopped us from doing stupid things.
Stupid things like build a PC downloadable MMO game that would cost anywhere from $5 million to $30 million, and would be free to play with virtual goods.
Meow. 😉 But hey, 1.6m daily users can’t be wrong. It’s a serious challenge to the status quo, an example of the mammals going after the dinosaurs. That said, Pincus also says that it’s likely that costs will rise and production values have to improve as more competition and richer experiences enter the arena.
They also picked up Yoville, the Facebook MMO that gets 150,000 daily uniques (see a video), with a 13% tie ratio (today’s stats) — just since May. Those are stats that again, most of the “mainstream” MMOs would love to have.