Tobold's Blog
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Indiana Jones game

Thus is my general appreciation of Zynga that when they this week renamed their newest game Adventure World into "Adventure World - An Indiana Jones Game", I was thinking they had done so without the permission of Lucasfilm. Turns out I was wrong, they actually made a deal. Adventure World is officially featuring Indiana Jones. What was kind of interesting that the game was there first, and the brand was attached later, albeit not much later.

I am currently playing Adventure World, and it isn't that bad for a Facebook game. Unlike most other Zynga games there is a heavy emphasis on exploration. While gameplay can still be described as clicking on things, and isn't all that challenging, it is kind of fun to find the best path through the various maps, disarm traps, battle wildlife, and find hidden treasures. It sure beats clicking on cows and potatoes.

Nevertheless, one word of warning: Like most Zynga games these days (and in fact many other Facebook games as well), you either need a lot of friends or a lot of real money to advance. Feel free to friend me if you need a neighbor in this game. Most of my "friends" on Facebook are people I've never met in real life, and who I mostly know by exchanging gifts and favors in various games. Probably not what Facebook had in mind when they created the platform, but it works well enough.
I don't know these games at all but I have a question. Why play Zynga games rather than any of the competition?
Simple: Network effect. If you need 10 friends to send you stuff to advance in a game, you don't want to play a game that very few of your friends play. Zynga leads the second biggest social games developer by over 3:1 in player numbers.

Anyway, the social games of other companies, e.g. The Sims Social by EA, aren't really any better than the Zynga versions.
"Probably not what Facebook had in mind when they created the platform"

Interesting thought. I suspect that from a marketing point of view a list of "random people who play clickville" is a lot less valuable than a list of "people who know each other in real life and share similar views and behaviours".
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