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Zynga: Inside the App Factory

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on October 22, 2009

I recently spent a day touring Zynga, the creator of FarmVille and other social games that have the tech world talking. With nearly 500 employees, the place is humming with activity and springing lots of cultural quirks. Its massage room, weekly keg parties, and formidable cooking staff are perks reminiscent of Google in its early days.

For an inside tour of this booming business, take a look at this slide show I created. You’ll see Mark Pincus, the founder and CEO, and his staff that’s divided into 11 game studios throughout the San Francisco offices, each one with its own personality. (For a version of this slideshow that includes my notes and observations, click here).

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Reader Comments


October 22, 2009 06:11 PM

It's too bad most of their games are direct rip-offs of other people's work.

FarmTown, Restaurant City and Mob Wars were rebranded as FarmVille, Cafe World and Mafia Wars with very few changes. Even the graphics look almost identical.

Zynga makes fun games, but it's a shame they have to do it stealing other people's work uncredited. If they were in an university, they would have been thrown out a long time ago.

Emerson Takahashi

October 23, 2009 11:05 AM

Stop arguing that their games are a rip off. Nowadays I can play any game and it would resemble something that I previously played. Games that can be played inside a web browser are the worst, since I've seem countless clones out there.

They must be doing something else, because it's very difficult a clone be more popular than the original.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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