Facebook Games "Blindsided" Puzzle Pirates Maker

Facebook Games "Blindsided" Puzzle Pirates Maker

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Daniel James, CEO of Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates maker Three Rings, admits that the rise of Facebook as a gaming platform took his company (and him) completely by surprise.

We live in a world of corporate speak, where even a major setback has to be spun in positive language lest company shareholders lose confidence and stock prices plummet. The vast majority of game studio executives are usually on tight leashes about what they can and cannot say - which is why honesty and frank admission of failure is so refreshing.

In a blog post discussing the state of his company's games - the popular Puzzle Pirates and beyond - Three Rings CEO Daniel James discussed the meteoric rise of Facebook gaming like FarmVille et al, and admitted that it had "blindsided" him.

The last year has been a challenging one for the company and for me personally as glorious leader ... Three Rings is getting better at adapting and learning fast, and that's exciting, but it's still tough to be wrong - and occasionally to shed a tear for spilt milk. In my case, the incredible rise of Facebook as a platform for games blindsided me, and I spent time trying to build a social network just when I should have been hopping onto theirs. I also failed to test the assumptions behind my grand experiment sufficiently until we'd over-invested in those hypothesis.

In all fairness to James et al, it would have been difficult to see just how big games like Mafia Wars and FishVille would become before they, um, got big - but mistakes do happen. He does close on a positive note, saying that the Three Rings team is learning rapidly and gets to try again in 2010 - and that they're still around, unlike Raph Koster's Metaplace.

Still, it can't be tasty to eat crow and make an acknowledgement of failure like that. But you know what they say, Daniel - admission is the first step to recovery, and there must be plenty of other casual game-makers in that same boat who are still keeping mum. Good luck, eh?

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never played it but its always bad news when a game company fails, but after all these news about farmville i have grown curious, i may just dig around for my facebook password and give it a try.

edit: ah i see, its like the simfarm i played in the 90s but cartoonie and you have to wait 24 after each action.

It is the best MMORPG. No Question. It always will have a place in my heart as absolute genius.

Facebook as a gaming platform? That's an outright joke and insult to all gamers. My PC, Xbox, and PSP are gaming platforms. Facebook is not.

swaki:
edit: ah i see, its like the simfarm i played in the 90s but cartoonie and you have to wait 24 after each action.

That's just one of the huge differences. Secondly, YPP doesn't annoy anyone else. The very viral nature of (many of) the FaceBook games are such that one can't really get far without enlisting all of one's friends and acquaintances to play as well, then pester them to do things that help you. YPP's pestering all happens in-game, where it's kind of expected. Thirdly, YPP's generally a pretty social thing. There's a LOT of in-game interaction that doesn't happen with most of the rest of FaceBook-based games, even the retread classic casual games. YPP's more of an MMORPG that uses casual games as its skills interface instead of pointy-clicky alone, or a casual game all by itself.

Wasn't Facebook originally just Myspace for college kids? When did this gaming and old people thing start?

CORRODED SIN:
Facebook as a gaming platform? That's an outright joke and insult to all gamers. My PC, Xbox, and PSP are gaming platforms. Facebook is not.

Too true..Facebook is just a place of social inter action which tried to interpret itself as more...

Facebook apps are the bane of my existence, and every time one of my friends (and when I say "friends", I mean "people in real life I actually know so I can't just unfriend them without hurt feelings all around") posts a status generated by an app I haven't yet hidden from my news feed, well, there goes another.

It's annoying, but at least it's getting better and the signal-to-noise ratio is starting to move toward the "signal" side.

...

People consider Facebook a gaming platform?
I thought they were just a little distraction tacked onto the social networking side of it...

Puzzle Pirates is an incredibly entertaining game. The only flaw is that doing really well at it requires a tight, well-managed crew, which pretty much means getting all your friends together to make sure everything goes well. But since when is well-designed teamwork a real flaw?

Great game, and I hope these guys go on to make more.

Until facebook gets the skills to make a console and forces it users to buy and putting their apps i mean "games" on it then i will not consider it a "platform"

I know you guys are semi joking, but Facebook is a massive gaming platform. The amount of money being made from companies that specialize in making FB games is staggering.

Avasyu:
I know you guys are semi joking, but Facebook is a massive gaming platform. The amount of money being made from companies that specialize in making FB games is staggering.

Good afternoon kind sir. Perchance may I ask thee the total amount of money that these grand companies are earning? Oh, and welcome to our little community. Hope you enjoy it and be sure to read the rules of the forums. They're scribbled on the post-it notes by the exit door over to your right.

As much as us consider FaceBook to not be a platform. You can't deny that they are huge and make tons of money.

Also it's always funny to see a company f'up and admit to failing. You don't see that too often.

I am proud to not have face book twitter or any other social network (apart from my email)
I have real friends. :)

Oh, man. Puzzle Pirates. I used to fucking love that game.

AvsJoe:

Avasyu:
I know you guys are semi joking, but Facebook is a massive gaming platform. The amount of money being made from companies that specialize in making FB games is staggering.

Good afternoon kind sir. Perchance may I ask thee the total amount of money that these grand companies are earning? Oh, and welcome to our little community. Hope you enjoy it and be sure to read the rules of the forums. They're scribbled on the post-it notes by the exit door over to your right.

Hey thanks!

Zynga made some thing to the tune of 250 million dollars from facebook games alone last year.

Avasyu:

AvsJoe:

Avasyu:
I know you guys are semi joking, but Facebook is a massive gaming platform. The amount of money being made from companies that specialize in making FB games is staggering.

Good afternoon kind sir. Perchance may I ask thee the total amount of money that these grand companies are earning? Oh, and welcome to our little community. Hope you enjoy it and be sure to read the rules of the forums. They're scribbled on the post-it notes by the exit door over to your right.

Hey thanks!

Zynga made some thing to the tune of 250 million dollars from facebook games alone last year.

A quarter of A BILLION DOLLARS??? Holy cow! Am I right in assuming that figure is in US dollars?

I was in the Y!PP open beta, have bought 2-year accounts several times over, and maintain it is one of the best made casual MMOs out there. If you haven't played it, you should. They were a pioneer of microtransactions, but have always offered both truly free options, or a flat subscription that covers everything.

They shouldn't ever sully their name by comparing themselves to Facebook games, or web-based games. Their work is pure art compared to that tripe, with depth and flavor and flair.

Off topic: Regarding my forum title, while I know paperboy is a great and awesome game, I'm still a girl. ;)

As far as free-to-play MMOs go, puzzle pirates is one of the best, it made grinding fun!

i started up my puzzle pirate account a few weeks back, it really has died down alot this past year, i miss it thinking back now!

AvsJoe:

Avasyu:

AvsJoe:

Avasyu:
I know you guys are semi joking, but Facebook is a massive gaming platform. The amount of money being made from companies that specialize in making FB games is staggering.

Good afternoon kind sir. Perchance may I ask thee the total amount of money that these grand companies are earning? Oh, and welcome to our little community. Hope you enjoy it and be sure to read the rules of the forums. They're scribbled on the post-it notes by the exit door over to your right.

Hey thanks!

Zynga made some thing to the tune of 250 million dollars from facebook games alone last year.

A quarter of A BILLION DOLLARS??? Holy cow! Am I right in assuming that figure is in US dollars?

You would be correct.

Sparrow:
Oh, man. Puzzle Pirates. I used to fucking love that game.

We all feel you Sparrow, it's hard to give up pirate poker.

People still use facebook, i havn't touched my Facebook for years

 

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