News broke earlier this week that Zynga would be shutting down underperforming games CityVille 2, Party Place and The Friend Game. While I’ve never been more than a dabbler in Zynga’s Facebook titles, there’s a disappointment over seeing the rather innovative Friend Game shelved after launching only in December.
When I was little, I was surrounded by weird board games like Dungeon and Zaxxon that my grandmother would pick up from the weird second-hand store around the corner, or a church rummage sale. My uncle was a constant source of Apple ][ and Atari 2600 titles of dubious providence. These memories still inform what I think of games today when I try to make my own.
The dark side of the Game-As-Service model is that when something appears and fails to find an audience, it’s probably just gone. Swallowed up like it never existed. There’s no finding a beat up old copy at a garage sale. There’s no picking it up again in a few years and finding how it informs games that went on to greater success.
That’s a shame.