FarmVille more of a WOW Killer than any upcoming MMO, says Popcap

September 3, 2010 -

PopCap Games Chief Creative Officer Jason Kapalka believes that big publishers have not figured out how to capitalize on the social gaming market, despite several publishers snapping up or investing in market leaders like Zynga and Playfish. In an interview with GI.biz, Kapalka also told the publication that games like FarmVille are more of a threat to World of Warcraft than other MMO's coming out in the future, and that the subscription model for those kinds of games is on its last legs.

"Whether it's a game like FarmVille or Bejewelled Blitz, or a lot of mobile games that have the same idea of 'I have it wherever I go, I can play short games on it.' The game adapting to your schedule, rather than you trying to conform to the game's demands," said Kapalka. "Those are the kinds of games that are probably going to be the big scary ones as far as the current guys like Blizzard, Activision, and EA are concerned. They're going to be fighting them on unequal terms, like asymmetric warfare."

Kapalka believes that subscription-based MMO's are on the decline and that social games such as Farmville are the future, noting that the vibe he's getting is "that people are really deciding that MMOs are a bad place to do business."

While that may be true in the grand scheme of things, Zynga's most popular game on Facebook currently enjoys 62 million monthly active users - but it only grew a mere few hundred thousand users in July. PopCap's own Facebook game, Bejeweled Blitz, enjoys about 12 million monthly active users. On the flipside, since launching in November 2004, World of Warcraft has a current global player base of more than 11.5 million subscribers, according to Blizzard. The difference is that the company makes a massive amount of money off this game from subscriptions.

But the MMO space is changing, as more and more companies evolve their products; companies like Turbine and Sony Online Entertainment have already put both feet into the free to play waters and are finding success. Blizzard has said in the past that, at some point, it may consider offering a different subscription model for World of Warcraft. With a brand new expansion coming out later this year, I suspect that we won't see such drastic changes for quite some time.

On the other hand, companies that have tried to buy their way into the social gaming scene have had limited success in competing with games like Farmville, but EA may turn the corner by converting some of its most popular franchises into full blown Facebook games. Madden is a good example of what the future my hold for social games.

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Comments

Re: FarmVille more of a WOW Killer than any upcoming MMO, ...

WoW is a game, FarmVille and other such "games" are progress bars that you pay to advance but which are permanently stuck at 99%.  They're two very different things and one person who is devoted to one is not likely to become as devoted to the other.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
www.digital-lifeline.ca

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Re: FarmVille more of a WOW Killer than any upcoming MMO, ...

Nothing will "kill" WoW, outside of a WoW 2.

However, Guild Wars 2 will give WoW a serious run for it's money.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: FarmVille more of a WOW Killer than any upcoming MMO, ...

Maybe, maybe not.  This is, after all, what people said about EQ.

Re: FarmVille more of a WOW Killer than any upcoming MMO, ...

Eh, I think farmville type games are a threat to WoW in the same way libraries a threat to car loans.  They are differnt things serving differnt markets, and while you might get overlap in individuals, the overlap simply represents people being part of multiple markets/demographics.

Re: FarmVille more of a WOW Killer than any upcoming MMO, ...

^This.

I play Mafia Wars while gathering a group for Task Forces in City of Heroes. If I had in interest in either game, I could do the same with Famville and WoW, too.

I think this guy has absolutely no clue what the term "x killer" means. You'd think he'd know it applies to titles within the same genre.

Re: FarmVille more of a WOW Killer than any upcoming MMO, ...

 Indeed... a true "WoW killer" would be game that either attracts current players away from WoW, and/or a game that significantly denies WoW new players... farmville would not do either of these; there are probably plenty of poeple who play both WoW and Farmville

Re: FarmVille more of a WOW Killer than any upcoming MMO, ...

pffft, no chance. everyone know that we play these game while the raid leader is explaining fights to noobs.

BCD303 "Speedy thing goes in. Speedy thing comes out."

BCD303 "Speedy thing goes in. Speedy thing comes out."
 
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