The father of FarmVille reacts to FarmVille 2 after letting go

FarmVille Mark Skaggs
FarmVille Mark Skaggs

During a chat with the veteran game designer after his session at this year's GDC Online in Austin, Tex., Zynga SVP of product development and FarmVille creator Mark Skaggs (pictured) revealed that he had little to do with FarmVille 2. Skaggs then continued to share his reactions to the full-blown sequel, and they're glowing.

"It's a wonderful, amazing step forward. It's 3D and there are little 3D flashes," Skaggs says. "Thank heavens, [the FarmVille 2 team was] the icebreaker through that frozen ocean for the rest of us to follow. And I think what I love about it is that it gets even more charm in that package and still stays true."

According to Skaggs, FarmVille 2 had been in development since a time when he was still working on CityVille, his second major project at Zynga. "When [FarmVille 2] started, I was working on CityVille. The concepts had been going on since launch, but they started to put together the initial teams while I was still on CityVille." But why exactly did Skaggs step back from FarmVille 2?

"Another sort of truism, lesson that I've learned is that I think game makers have two and a half cycles of their game--console and PC--of making that game available in themselves. What I've seen is that the teams, the creators, the leaders just want to do other stuff," Skaggs admits. "From knowing that and seeing what happens when people hold on too long, my view is when you have people that have energy, that have a new point of view and a new idea on it, let them bring that goodness to the world, through the franchise instead of trying to hold onto it for ego reasons."

That, by extension, must be the same reason Skaggs has opted to stay away from CityVille 2, which we know the venerable Brian Reynolds is at the helm of. Given that Zynga has opted to "reduce its investment" in The Ville, who knows what the father of FarmVille will dig into next.

[Image Credit: GDC]

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