Great short post from Dave Thier at Forbes on Zynga’s recent stock-price woes. So many thoughts here, including my general concern about the overvaluing of the social media tech bubble, and my personal dislike of most of Zynga’s titles, which are either a.) not really games, or b.) aim to succeed by bring out the worst aspects of the gamer in me by focusing on competition instead of mechanics. However I think Thier hits on an important point here:
at the end of the day, Zynga has found itself in the entertainment business. It needs hits, and it needs them badly – the old games won’t last forever, and it has yet to create something to match the buzz of the its earlier titles.
This is true of every entertainment publisher in the marketplace, games and otherwise. But it seems to me that it will become increasingly difficult as media strives to capture the dwindling attention spans of today’s audience. 99c games consumable in 60 seconds or less may be the direction games are arguably heading, but the number of those titles I spend more than 30 minutes on total is few and far between. The goal becomes repeat successes, not deep player experiences, and this means generating successful IP again and again at breakneck speed—not an easy task for any publisher, let alone a public company beholden to the pressures of Wall Street and the slowing bureaucracy that comes with it.