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Dream Cutter

Zynga Pulls Plug on YoVille - Million$ in YoCash evaporate!

166 posts in this topic


is not the fault of the company that a person can't be bothered to read what they are agreeing to. And to be quite honest, at this point it should be assumed you are agreeing to have access, not to own something.

 

We were told though by company representatives, that the game was staying intact.  So my argument to this statement is that we were tricked into spending real money by false statements by the company.  I pay a monthly subscription rate for this in addition to any additional yocash I purchase throughout the month.  When the game started getting glitchy and so many options were broken or changed, we all asked if the game was in jeopardy of closing and were told repeatedly,  "Yoville is here to stay!!!!!"  That information is what has lead to so many spending so much real cash to keep it going.  We thought we were doing our part to show our loyalty through the bad patch so that we could ultimately get the game back to the point of enjoyment it was before such issues.  

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But that's where the consumer is wrong, they don't own anything.

 

It's like any other service you pay for in life I would think.  If I subscribe to a service that is offering A, B and C monthly for a set price, I should be receiving A, B and C.  In this case, I am getting only A for my subscription dollar and we have all been asked to be patient and it will be fixed, those of us who have chosen to be "team players" have taken this hit for all these months still paying our subscription premiums, and now we are never going to be compensated for the B & C that have been missing for months and they of course made this announcement AFTER they had automatically withdrawn the money from my bank account for this month's premium........ Just seems sleezy.  

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is not the fault of the company that a person can't be bothered to read what they are agreeing to. And to be quite honest, at this point it should be assumed you are agreeing to have access, not to own something.

 
We were told though by company representatives, that the game was staying intact.  So my argument to this statement is that we were tricked into spending real money by false statements by the company.  I pay a monthly subscription rate for this in addition to any additional yocash I purchase throughout the month.  When the game started getting glitchy and so many options were broken or changed, we all asked if the game was in jeopardy of closing and were told repeatedly,  "Yoville is here to stay!!!!!"  That information is what has lead to so many spending so much real cash to keep it going.  We thought we were doing our part to show our loyalty through the bad patch so that we could ultimately get the game back to the point of enjoyment it was before such issues.


I'm not arguing you on that point. I think you have real legal course in that situation. I'm talking about games/micro-transactions in general for games with these sort of setups.

It's like any other service you pay for in life I would think. If I subscribe to a service that is offering A, B and C monthly for a set price, I should be receiving A, B and C. In this case, I am getting only A for my subscription dollar and we have all been asked to be patient and it will be fixed, those of us who have chosen to be "team players" have taken this hit for all these months still paying our subscription premiums, and now we are never going to be compensated for the B & C that have been missing for months and they of course made this announcement AFTER they had automatically withdrawn the money from my bank account for this month's premium........ Just seems sleezy.

in that case you do have legal recourse if they are advertising A, B, and C. but only provide A. however, in most cases, they include that all deals are subject to change at the providers whim, this means that they have to give you A, B, and C. but they don't have to offer that indefiantly. This is how many cable deals work "Hey pay 10$ a month" and then in the fine print you get "for the first six months". Edited by slicer4ever
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This is an interesting situation, and a major reason I don't invest in things like that. 

 

Imagine if Apple stopped. Yeah, they just stop. All the people who have invested in their products will feel they have wasted so much money. That is why I think it is a very bad idea to be tied to some service or contract that is subject to change at your least convenience (which is a clause in pretty much all TOS).

 

So i am constantly looking for free alternatives. They have to be free, because it requires no investment. 

 

It is the same way I am learning game programming and design. I am not going to go and buy $3,000 3d studio max and pay another couple thousand to be able to publish on the game engine of my choice, just to learn how to make games. No. If I am new, and learning, I am going to use a free and open source game engine and a free 3d modeler like Blender. 

 

I understand why people would be mad about this. 

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in that case you do have legal recourse if they are advertising A, B, and C. but only provide A. however, in most cases, they include that all deals are subject to change at the providers whim, this means that they have to give you A, B, and C. but they don't have to offer that indefiantly. This is how many cable deals work "Hey pay 10$ a month" and then in the fine print you get "for the first six months".

 

It was set up originally that you would pay $17.99 a month for the first 3 months and receive one hair a month (that's worth 18 yocash or $5 in real money) plus 15 yocash per week.  However, if you stayed in that for 3 months, then you automatically upgraded and went to a premium package which gave you 20 yocash per week and the second hair per month. In addition, VIP's are given 20% discount on certain items in each theme (theme change monthly) and VIP exclusive items that were not available to players who were not paying this subscription rate.   However, hair is issued with new releases.  There have been no new releases over the last few months so we are not receiving the first hair (18yc or $5 real money) nor the 2nd (again, 18yc or $5).  There are no discounts on items in the "new release" because there aren't releases, and there have been no VIP Exclusive items either for the same reason.  I have, however, continued to receive my 20 yc per week throughout this ordeal.  

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We were told though by company representatives, that the game was staying intact.  So my argument to this statement is that we were tricked into spending real money by false statements by the company.


Well, consider that Zynga is the company who abruptly laid off 20% of their workforce with no prior warning, I'd say that you should be aware that not everyone in the company actually knows what the business plans are. It's highly likely that the customer support staff first learned the game would be shut down at the same time you did.
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Well, consider that Zynga is the company who abruptly laid off 20% of their workforce with no prior warning, I'd say that you should be aware that not everyone in the company actually knows what the business plans are. It's highly likely that the customer support staff first learned the game would be shut down at the same time you did.

 

I wondered about that as well.  They seem rather sketchy in my opinion.  

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Well, consider that Zynga is the company who abruptly laid off 20% of their workforce with no prior warning, I'd say that you should be aware that not everyone in the company actually knows what the business plans are. It's highly likely that the customer support staff first learned the game would be shut down at the same time you did.

 
I wondered about that as well.  They seem rather sketchy in my opinion.


Well, that wasn't really a sketchy move - it was more of a panic reaction. They went public just a couple quarters before the layoff, which forced them to take a closer look at their income and expenses (since all of that information was now public for the whole world to see). Then they started getting harried by Wall Street in the news to improve their profitability.

Pressure from Wall Street tends to have a way of corrupting a company such that it makes more profit-guided decisions rather than decisions that consider the wishes of employees or consumers. Pressure from the media sometimes makes a company make reactionary decisions which aren't well thought-out.

I believe that Zynga had no idea that the after-effects of going public could be detrimental like this, and they're still trying to get themselves straightened out. Edited by Nypyren
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I believe that Zynga had no idea that the after-effects of going public could be detrimental like this, and they're still trying to get themselves straightened out.

 

Maybe so...... right now I just have a hard time trusting them at all on any level.  I feel totally duped.  

 

Our hope is that Big Viking Games or some other company will buy it out, fix the glitches and let it roll.  It's got such potential it seems a waste to see it falter.  

 

On a positive note:  CNN has been getting reports about this thanks to this site and others and they are investigating so maybe we'll get some press out of it.  That's gotta help somebody wanna buy it I hope.  

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It was up for six years. SIX YEARS. It's not like they pulled the plug early. Besides, if it's such a success - why are they shutting it down? Why would anyone shut down something that generates income?

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It was up for six years. SIX YEARS. It's not like they pulled the plug early. Besides, if it's such a success - why are they shutting it down? Why would anyone shut down something that generates income?

 

I've asked myself that question a million times.  I don't know why they would shut it down.  It's like they're investing so much into zynga.com that they are letting this slide, not fixing glitches, not addressing hacking issues, not doing anything to maintain the site, but all along asking for our patience and understanding as they fix it all....... taking our money on false promises that it would be fixed, and then slamming the door in our faces instead of fixing it.  Unethical at best.  We should have had accurate information to make our spending decisions with.  I believe I'm speaking for the masses when I say we have all contributed financially in an effort to keep the game going, we've been more than patient, and the response we got was lies.  I'll never spend a dime on another Zynga product in my life.

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I simply cannot understand the concept of paying real money for non-utiltarian in-game purchases.  I played WOW for a couple months, until I got bored of the grinding, and I've bought some level unlocks for Candy Crush and Bubble Witch, but the idea of spending money on something like hats in TF2 or anything with Zynga involved leaves me baffled.  I can hit a Steam sale and find a game with a 90+ Metacritic score that I haven't played yet, that'll provide tens of hours of enjoyment, for less than some incidental piece of dlc.

 

To each his/her own, I guess...

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I think you summed up your purchasing decisions in that first few lines.  You play for "months".......... I've played this game for years as have most of the remaining yovillians.  Buying this hat, or that window for this house or that tree......... it's part of the beauty of this game.  It's not a competition (except the contests we have from time to time) but more of just a social outlet where we feel comfortable to invite friends over to our "newly decorated" homes and wear our chic new outfits, hair, hats, jewelry or whatever and visit, or talk or have a sale, or an auction, or group discussion, or meetings, or church, or whatever we want to do....... I can't stress enough that there is NO Other platform on the market like this.  I've tried the others, and they are pale in comparison....... This truly is a community. 

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I simply cannot understand the concept of paying real money for non-utiltarian in-game purchases.  I played WOW for a couple months, until I got bored of the grinding, and I've bought some level unlocks for Candy Crush and Bubble Witch, but the idea of spending money on something like hats in TF2 or anything with Zynga involved leaves me baffled.  I can hit a Steam sale and find a game with a 90+ Metacritic score that I haven't played yet, that'll provide tens of hours of enjoyment, for less than some incidental piece of dlc.
 
To each his/her own, I guess...


why do people buy alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, jewelry, or any other item that provides zero practicality. I've never spent money on social games(the only mmo i've payed money for was The Old Republic, but that was to buy it at launch, and i got bored with it before i even had to start paying monthly subscriptions). There are people that can justify these purchases, as it provides entertainment/social value, not practical value.
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There are people that can justify these purchases, as it provides entertainment/social value, not practical value.

 

I spend a lot of evenings on the phone with my bff in AZ as we play the game together.  My thought on spending money on the game is that if we lived closer and were spending that time in a restaurant having dinner and talking for hours, that would lead to dessert, and booze, and all the same socializing we do here.  That would cost me at minimum $20 to $50 to hang out with her for an evening and it would end up being high calorie and I'd have nothing to show for it.  So, instead, I hang out with her on the phone, in our little yo-houses, and spend $10 or so on some yocash for the evening, zero calories, we have a glass of wine while we play - much cheaper at home than out somewhere.  And we didn't even have to wear uncomfy shoes.  

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It was up for six years. SIX YEARS. It's not like they pulled the plug early. Besides, if it's such a success - why are they shutting it down? Why would anyone shut down something that generates income?

5+ years, and YoVille STILL generates new sources of income and new clients, daily.  Its been mismanaged and wasted - the publisher (not developer) has given up.  Perhaps.  Rumors suggest that Zynga is now in discussion and considering options with the original designer at Big Viking.  

 

Zynga updated its FAQ with these YovilleShutdown bullets:

http://www.zyngaplayersupport.com/article/yoville/YoVille-Shutdown-FAQs-en_US-1389005356507

Edited by Dream Cutter
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5+ years, and YoVille STILL generates new sources of income and new clients, daily.  Its been mismanaged and wasted - the publisher (not developer) has given up.  Perhaps.  Rumors suggest that Zynga is now in discussion and considering options with the original designer at Big Viking.  

 

We're hopeful.  I've never heard anyone say they left out of boredom.  It's all the broken issues in the game that have turned many off.  I agree, the game is a viable profit maker if it were repaired and maintained.  Zynga has definitely dropped the ball on maintenance on this game.  It's so sad.  

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Another man's view........ 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1Dus9rHGkQ

 

This was released earlier today.  He's right.  We all agree.  

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Another man's view........ 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1Dus9rHGkQ

 

This was released earlier today.  He's right.  We all agree.  

Yep, he pretty much states it.   Now how many games can you say there were there are 6 MILLION PASSIONATE AND VESTED PLAYER ACCOUNTS subscribed like this?

 

Some folks cant see gold if they trip over it.

Edited by Dream Cutter
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Now how many games can you say there were there are 6 MILLION PASSIONATE AND VESTED PLAYER ACCOUNTS subscribed like this?

Several. Large numbers of players are common in free-to-play games (the monetization scheme that YoVille uses) is not uncommon, and in some games reach even higher than 6 million. The probably is, when you average out all the accounts together, the amount made from each account is relatively small. Maybe $2 or less a month, averaged out, per user. I'm guessing here, because the actual numbers aren't known. But you can't assume the amount you spend on it every month is the same that others spend.

"$2 * 6 million users = $12 million! That's a lot!", someone might say. Well, that's before employee wages, server maintenance, and the other costs; and before taxes and legal fees and accounting fees - try figuring out what nations, and states, and counties, you have to pay taxes to when your 6 million users are distributed all around the world.

Also, I can't find any recent subscriber numbers for YoVille. The 6 million number seems to be from 4 years ago... and the 4 years ago was when people saying the subscriber count has been dropping. How low it's dropped now, I haven't a clue.
 

Some folks cant see gold if they trip over it.

How much does it cost Zynga per each user per month? How much does Zynga make off of each user (on average) per month?
The fact is, Zynga thinks it's more profitable for them to close YoVille then keep it running.

It costs real money to run a game. It costs in software maintenance, hardware maintenance, and human wages to maintain. If Zynga isn't willing to invest that money any longer, there's probably a reason.
It's most likely still profitable... but not very profitable for a company of Zynga's size.

It's a nice idea to say, "Why can't they just leave it up?". But that's like saying, "Why does Disneyland need 60,000 employees to run it? Why can't they just let it run itself?". Or, why doesn't NYC let its traffic run itself? Surely they can just let the traffic lights rotate at pre-programmed intervals without human intervention of 4500 employees!

Granted, YoVille is smaller than Disneyland and the New York street and subway networks, but it's still a complex interactive and dynamic system that doesn't run perfectly and needs alot of human intervention. Which costs money. And it needs periodic hardware replacements. Which costs money. When you add in the weird custom proprietary cloud architecture that YoVille is run off of, it's not something Zynga can just leave running without direct and constant human intervention.

YoVille still has plenty opportunity for profit it sounds like, but like any goldmine you still have to dig through stone to get to that gold - especially when the owner of the goldmine is selling it because they've already harvested the easier-to-retrieve gold.

YoVille getting bought out by the original developers would definitely be an ideal solution. Here's something the original developers need to consider: Zynga won't want to give away the game for free, because that would automatically create a competitor to Zynga. So the price will have to be high. Second, the original developer will then start off at a significant net loss for the game, and any "profit" for the first year or two would actually be getting them out of the negative amount of money they spent in purchasing the game.

Some folks cant see gold if they trip over it.

The famous saying goes, "Not all that glitters is gold".
(On the flip-side, JRR Tolkien famously reversed it, basically saying that not all gold has to glitter).

Write emails to the head of the original developers, and tell them you'd subscribe if they bought the game, and rally the community to email the original developers as well. Or, move the community to a non-Zynga and community-owned forum. Edited by Servant of the Lord
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Some folks cant see gold if they trip over it.

Are you saying that Zynga of all things, doesn't knows how to recognize "gold" ?

 

Between your heavily emotional invested takes into the value of that game and Zynga's decision, I'd say Zynga is right in the money, because they're actually pretty good at that sort of stuff if you haven't noticed it.

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She's right too!

Her agreeing with your viewpoint does not mean she's right, it just means she agrees with your viewpoint. wink.png 
But her rhetorical question, "How difficult would it be to leave it open?" is the same as your view, and the previous person's view, but that doesn't mean it's correct. Truth isn't a democratic vote. It does cost money to keep things running. Clearly Zynga feels it's not worth it, but other developers could run things better and more cost-efficiently - maybe Big Viking Games could.

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"Also, I can't find any recent subscriber numbers for YoVille. The 6 million number seems to be from 4 years ago.."

 

I agree that current figures are probably nowhere near the 6 million mark by any stretch due to all the issues within the game in the past year.  However, there are still 6.5 million likes for the fan page on facebook which says that those who have quit, don't hate it enough to dislike it.  (until today's ploy within the forum to "unlike" the page)  

 

"How much does Zynga make off of each user (on average) per month?"

 

I couldn't begin to guess what, if anything, some people pay to play but I do know that all VIP memberships are $17.99 per month.  In addition to that, there are countless members who then buy additional yocash (myself included) that averaged another $30-100 per month when things were running good in the game.  That's the best way to get rich in yoville - you buy yocash and then deal it to the folks who don't buy it.  i.e. - you buy an item for 2 yocash, and then sell it in game for upwards of 40,000 coins.  So even those who don't pay to play, are still building Zynga's profit margin because those of us who are willing to buy the yocash, will deal it to them - there are always people willing to spend coins on yocash items.  Some of those items go for hundreds of thousands of coins per item.  Thus we buy more yocash to fill the demand, and that gets us the coins we need to buy other things in game that may have been discontinued and therefore cost millions of coins to acquire.  

 

The yo-rich probably got to their status by spending their real dollars and dealing the yocash at rates as high as 1 yc = 20,000-80,000 coins.  

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