Monetizing like Zynga

Roger Dickey from “Money Talks” speaks about monetizing social games. He’s the creator of Mafia Wars and he also headed Fishville and advised the international product team while at Zynga.

At 3:00 minutes, he confirms that Zynga isn’t relying on innovation but waits for a competitor to get the right mix for a game and then they copy it (Fishville copied FishWorld). Instead of doing playtesting, Zynga would simply wait for a competitor to report a positive return and then they’d copy it and market it aggressively. At 5:30 he reiterates that Farmville and Farmtown had one difference – ability to queue plowing and collecting.

If there’s one slide that sums up the areas you can monetize your game, it’s this one (use it as a checklist).

  • Rarity – rare items or other unlocks
  • Fun – a fun minigame or quest
  • Exclusive features – premium account
  • Vanity – skins (buildings on Farmville)
  • Competition – faster progress
  • Social Value – help your friend
  • Convenience – reducing number of clicks
  • Chance – mystery gifts, random loot
  • Decoration – buildings, furniture
  • Identity – avatar
  • Stat progress – temp stat boosters (energy)
  • Story – unlock quest progression
  • Primacy – be the first, top lists
  • Obligation – come back to feed your pet

You can read more detailed notes here. This video really helps explain why tractors cost $25 in FarmVille.

  1. January 11th, 2012
    Trackback from : Zynga Poker « Riftstalker
  2. February 26th, 2012
  3. July 4th, 2013

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