So my rough take on Zynga is A) No don’t take any job offers there, and B) They’re in for some tough times and a probable buyout, massive downscale, or both. But there’s more.
So anyway, as I expect a tough time at the big Z, here’s something I think we need to be prepared for: the impact on the gaming part of the geekonomy. In this case, I want to focus on the cultural impacts.
Zynga is a company that people have alternately praised and hated over the last few years. I think in the end everyone knew it was too good to be true, but the real question was what we could learn, make, and take from them. There’s an odd sense of inevitability in their fall, as if so many of us were waiting.
However now that it’s happening, I’m pretty sure we’re going to hear about this for the next few years until we’re sick of it. Zynga is on it’s way to become a bad example, and soon only a bad example as history grinds on. Remember how people talk about dot-bomb companies? Yeah, that’ll be Zynga.
Our media is used to cartoon villains and heroes in the tech sphere, so I’m sure we’ll get plenty of that.
The problem with this is then we miss the lessons. For those of us working in tech, or gaming, and in media, it’s important we don’t forget.
The insider training, the questionable monetization, the dependence on Facebook, we need to extract lessons from Zynga. This was big, this was important, this was formative, even if you now have a fear of any game with the word “-ville” in the title. So before Zynga becomes a cardboard villain, make the effort to learn the lessons of their fall.
Because in a few more years, they’ll just be a shadow of their former failure. Think how many good lessons of the dot-bomb are lost because it’s a buzzword . . .
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach for professional and potentially professional geeks, fans, and otaku. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/