FarmVille's co-creator not sure selling to Zynga was the best idea

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FarmVille co-creator Sizhao YangWell, duh. Now that Zynga is supposedly looking at $20 billion, thanks largely to FarmVille, we'd feel a tinge of regret too. The game's co-creator, Sizhao Yang (pictured), told FINS Technology about early interactions with CEO Mark Pincus, creating what would spawn an industry-changing revolution and ultimately selling MyMiniLife (and that game) to Zynga in June 2009.

"If I had known then what I know now, I don't think we would have sold [MyMiniLife]," Yang admitted to FINS. "But we did fairly well for ourselves, as well as for our investors." A little over a year later, Yang left Zynga on a day's notice, never looking back. Sure, Yang may seem to regret his decision to sell FarmVille, but his decision to leave came down to a simple idea.

"I left about eight figures in restricted stock on the table," Yang revealed to FINS. "I realized that when I'm 80 or 90 years old, am I going to be more proud of the fact that I created FarmVille and BetterWorks, or more proud of the fact that I have $20 or $40 million in my bank account? For me I was going to be more proud of the things I create and the things I do."

Yang moved on to found other tech startups, most recently BetterWorks, a company that makes Web-based software for small companies to more easily obtain company perks for their employees. Since the FarmVille mastermind's departure, Zynga has gone on to create several more games based on the FarmVille blueprint (which has since been put into question), each more successful than the last. That said, the all new CastleVille has quite a lot to live up to.

[Image Credit: TEDxOrangeCoast]

How do you think the social game scene might have been different had Yang not sold FarmVille? Would you have sold in the same situation? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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