How To Kill the Company Behind FarmVille

Illustration for article titled How To Kill the Company Behind emFarmVille/em

Hate Farmville, CityVille and all of its billions of pestering, needy fans? There's a simple way to get rid of the company that makes those games: Kill Facebook.


Buried in Zynga's mammoth digital registration filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which could lead to injecting a billion, perhaps billions, in cash into the company, are also the blueprints for Zynga's destruction.


In outlining the risks to potential investors, Zynga founder Mark Pincus paints a direct connection between the success of Facebook, and its attitude toward Zynga, and the survival of the casual game publisher.

"If we are unable to maintain a good relationship with Facebook, our business will suffer," he writes high up in the voluminous document. Digging deeper in we find out just how true that is.

Pincus says that there are myriad of ways that Facebook ( a company referenced more than 200 times in the filing) could completely screw his company:

  • They could limit access to Facebook by Zynga.
  • They could change the rules that all game makers have to follow (including that 30 percent cut Facebook currently takes) .
  • They could simply cancel Zynga's agreement.
  • They could develop their own in-house games.
  • They could become best buddies with another Facebook game maker.
  • Of course, Facebook itself could also just wither up and die.

What makes this so stark, and telling, is that it paints a picture of a budding company that has a whole lot of eggs in one basket, which happens to be another still budding company.


And on top of that Facebook can just on a whim change the rules. That's what the social network did last year when they decided that everyone on their service had to use their virtual currency, which also happened to increase Facebook's cut. Or when they decided to limit how Facebook users can share information with friends.

So the best way to kill Zynga, it seems, is to kill Facebook. That or help another casual game maker outpace it.

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I have to say I don't really understand all the Zynga hatred. Not that I have ever played a Zynga game, nor do I plan to, but I don't really see what harm they are doing. Frankly I think they make for an easy entryway to gaming for all those people who once dismissed gaming as beneath them or a waste of time.

It's not like Farmville is really a threat to the so called "Hardcore" games out there. There will always be games that cater to that market. Just because companies are finding new markets to cater to shouldn't be taken as a threat. As the medium continues to evolve we will contineue to find new ways to explore it. Zynga games are just one more way to do that.