PopCap CEO: FarmVille for iPhone is an 'abysmal failure'
This morning, at the TechNW forum hosted by the Washington Technology Industry Association, PopCap Games CEO Dave Roberts lashed out at Zynga, calling Zynga's FarmVille port to the iPhone an "abysmal failure" and accusing Zynga of "using money to buy their customers every day." Roberts doesn't say anything new, as Zynga's business tactics haven't been a secret for a while now, but those are definitely fighting words.
PopCap Games, maker of the widely successful Bejeweled Blitz and the upcoming Zuma Blitz on Facebook, has been in the games biz for a decade now. Roberts attributes their longevity and continued success on their prioritizing content over marketing. Even though Zynga's userbase far exceeds PopCap's on Facebook, Roberts "noted how PopCap's Bejeweled Blitz was kicking the ass of Zynga's Mafia Wars in terms of daily unique visitors, and had done so without spending money on advertising." In the end, Roberts says, "great games are always going to be better than great marketing."
But the antagonism is certainly tinged with respect, since in a more private interview last week, Roberts credits Zynga with "blazing some great trails," for example, FarmVille alone has created millions of new, dedicated players.