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Glitch dev lashes out against Zynga's business model


Not all social games developers are in love with Zynga's business model. Some are bucking against what Tiny Speck's Stewart Butterfield is calling a "scorched earth policy" that will do far more harm in the long run than what helps the industry now.

Butterfield is the co-founder of Tiny Speck, which recently launched the sleeper MMO hit Glitch. While both Glitch and Zynga's games are browser-based and use microtransactions to fund the titles, the similarities end there. Butterfield says that he is adverse to how Zynga creates artificial walls in its games: "The fundamental design of the game became 'Here's a stop sign in your gameplay, you can stop now and come back in a day, or you can keep on playing and it will cost you three bucks, or a buck, or ten bucks, or whatever it is.'"

Butterfield called Zynga's approach "unsavoury" and said that it leads to burned-out players and a "lame future" for the genre where gamers are unwilling to return. Ultimately, he predicts that people will forget Zynga's efforts entirely: "They won't be as into it as someone who's playing WoW is in to WoW, or someone who's playing EVE is into EVE, or even someone who's playing Civilization IV is into Civilization IV. It's a much lighter touch."

For more Stewart Bufferfield goodness, make sure to check out our interview with him on Massively Speaking!

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