Zynga CEO Mark Pincus doesn't like it when fans play for too long

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus

Right. During an interview with MIT's Technology Review, FarmVille creator Zynga's CEO Mark Pincus said, "I don't like it when I find out that people are averaging long session times in any of our games. All of the newer games that we bring out are trying to reduce those session times. Because one of the biggest reasons people don't play games is they say that they don't have the time."

According to Technology Review, this comment was made before the CityVille maker agreed to a quiet period prior to its upcoming initial public offering (IPO). The butt of that quote may be true, but Pincus's words strike us as odd. They're especially odd considering the not-so-tiny 5 percent of paying players--about 54 million people--is likely the crop of players that spend the most time in games like Adventure World and CastleVille.

Technology Review says that the burst-style gameplay of its games can spur players to eventually pay up, quoting one player in particular that plays up to four hours daily in short 15-minute spurts. "You start spending time playing a game, and you find that you care about it for any host of reasons, if we [design] it well," Pincus told Technology Review, "and at some point you may see that by spending some money you can save yourself a bunch of time [or] get something that has status or changes your friends' view of you."
Sure, these in-game boosts can save players time, but they can also serve to keep players in-game for longer. The more virtual items bought outright, the less energy spent on procuring them, and thus more time spent doing other things in the game. This writer is willing to bet that the average whale, a casino term used to describe social gamers that spend large amounts of money, spends way more time than the average player that throws up maybe a few bucks a week. And we're sure Zynga likes them just teeny, tiny bit more.

Would you consider yourself a "whale" or know someone that might be a whale? How much time do you or they spend playing Facebook games daily? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.