Zynga is widely known as the game development powerhouse behind hot Facebook and mobile games such as Farmville, Cityville, Mafia Wars and more. Their incredible success was highly contributed to a formula they discovered which combined two very dangerous things – addiction and virtual goods. Zynga replicated this formula many times, using the same elements of gameplay and changing the theme, ranging from kingdoms to zoos. And it worked. Zynga has even been known to use analytics to help them tweak aspects of gameplay until it reaches the perfect point of obsession and impatience, leading to uncontrollable splurging, amounting to a gazillion dollars for Zynga.
Zynga is also known for blatantly ripping off games without any shame or concern. For example, one of their first hits, Mafia Wars was an exact copy of a Facebook Game that already existed. Zynga is also currently in production of a near-identical version of the hit mobile game, Tiny Tower. The Tiny Tower developers even reacted with a sarcastic “thanks for copying our game” response. Adding to their wreckless actions, Zynga announced today that they have launched a clone of their recently acquired game Draw Something, called Whiteboardville.
Whiteboardville is Zynga’s latest addition to their mobile lineup, allowing users to take turns drawing pictures for their friends based on a word selected from a random list. So basically, Draw Something. Some users believe that Whiteboardville is Zynga’s rebranding of Draw Something. However, apparently this is not the case. We reached out to Mark Pincus, Zynga’s CEO for a response.
“Oh Whiteboardville? Yeah that has nothing to do with Draw Something. We’re letting the Draw Something team do what they do best – improve Draw Something. Whiteboardville was our way to capitalize on a completely different market – those who love drawing and spending money.”
Mark expects Whiteboardville to be a huge success for Zynga. “In Whiteboardville, we reward users based on how many pictures they draw. But, you can only draw up to 3 pictures an hour. If you want to draw more pictures, you’ll have to pay to refill your picture meter”, he said. “Our analytics show that Draw Something users draw a lot of pictures. We expect that Whiteboardville will be a huge success for us.”