Hi5 "declaring war" on Facebook, viral game spam

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Social gaming network Hi5 definitely isn't easing up on Facebook and Zynga following president and CEO Alex St. John's incendiary remarks at Game Developers Conference panel today. In a press release issued just moments after the panel was done, a spokesperson for the company insisted they were "declaring war against Facebook today at GDC."

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Facebook is making it difficult for developers to work with their company," the release continues. "Mainly, Facebook sees hugely popular viral games like Farmville as taking away its audience.
hi5 is rocking the boat by announcing their Game Developers Program that provides free promotion and marketing of games to the site's 60 million users and access to its virtual micropayment system – hi5 Coins."

St. John himself used the release to follow up with more harsh words for other social game networks. "To date, social games have been distributed on open platforms competing against thousands of other titles with nothing but their own spamminess to get them discovered," he said in the press release. "As the market has saturated, getting noticed has become more and more difficult and expensive, particularly for smaller developers. hi5's new Game Developer Program solves this problem by providing great games with free promotion, rapid audience acquisition and favorable revenue share for new content on hi5.com."

More than drawing a line in the sand between Hi5 and competing social gaming networks, the quick release suggests that St. John's comments at the GDC panel were well thought out, and not just emotional statements made in the heat of the moment. Is this just a desperate cry for attention from hi5, or does St. John have a point about other social game networks? Let us know how you feel in the comments.
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