What's it feel like to drop $1,000 on YoVille? Elite, but embarrassing
Many wag the finger at Zynga's stable of social games for being exploitative and catered to those that pay up. And who knows--maybe they're right. But since that's a matter of opinion, Business Insider took it upon itself to reach out to one of these VIP players, or whales, to see what it's like on the other side. BI talked to a recovered YoVille addict about his $1,000 journey though the elitist world of Zynga's whales.
Of course, the former addict was kept anonymous, so there's a clear lack of verification on this information. However, the reformed whale did provide the website with the above image, which might count for something. After the player's brother consistently bugged him to get into the game, he finally caved. Soon, he realized that the exclusivity that these games provide paying players is tough to pass up.
"Rarely, in real life, can I afford things that few others can afford (i.e. a Lamborghini, a Rolex, diamonds, trips around there world), but in the Zynga world, it was possible," the former player told BI. "All you need to enter the world of the 'elite and privileged' is a credit card. If you have a credit card, you are special."
Eventually, YoVille drove this player to play up to 12 hours daily, trading exclusive items he bought with real money for far more than their worth when they were originally available. Finally, the former player simply went cold turkey, but was ashamed of the money he spent in the game.
"At the time, I thought of it as 'entertainment money,' no different than if I went on a vacation, went to the movies, attended a live theatrical performance and the like. Of course, I was embarrassed to tell anyone of my cash outlay. Not even my brother or girlfriend knows," the player admitted to BI. "This is only hearsay, but I've heard of other players dropping $5,000, $10,000 or even $20,000 on the game. Hardcore." (We strongly recommend reading the interview in full here.)
Do you know anyone that's currently a Zynga game addict? Do you think Zynga should be at all responsible for addicts? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.