Games should be free, says Zynga

Written by Joe Martin

July 4, 2011 // 11:26 a.m.

Tags: #facebook #farmville #free-games #games-should-be-free #social-network #zynga #zynga-ipo #zynga-shares

Zynga, the social gaming developer behind titles such as Farmville, has written an open letter to prospective shareholders as it opens shares to the public, proclaiming that games should be free in the future.

The message came from the desk of Zynga CEO and founder Mark Pincus, who outlined the philosophy of Zynga in the letter by saying that all games should be 'free, social, accessible and data driven'.

'From the beginning, we have strived to lower the barriers to play in people’s lives, wrote Pincus regarding game accessibility and social game design. 'We want to build games to play with our parents, our children, our co-workers and our best friends...Every week our teams test new features to make our games more social. '

'Free games are more social because they’re more accessible to everyone. We’ve also found them to be more profitable. We have created a new kind of customer relationship with new economics—free first, high satisfaction, pay optional.'

'Our culture combines the creative with the analytical. We develop and operate our games as live services with daily, metrics-based player feedback. This allows us to continually iterate, innovate and invest in the content our players love.'

Pincus also expressed the belief that games should be used for the good of all, explaining how some microtransactions in Zynga games have been used to raise money following natural disasters.

Does Zynga's vision represent a viable path for the industry as whole, or is this a case of self-promotion within a short-lived social gaming bubble? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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