Zynga Angers Gamers With Flubbed Street Racer Shutdown - UPDATED

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Marmooset:
"We're closing down the escapist. But if you liked that, try 4chan!"

Well ok, sounds good.

. . .

OH GOD MY EYES. I CAN'T UNSEE THAT!!

Where's the brain bleach? Oh God, Oh GOd.

HOW DOES THAT EVEN WORK!?

. . .

Never again, oh god. *Sobs* I STILL SEE IT!

When doesn't it take a bunch of screwing around and animosity to get "there"? And I don't mean with just Zynga but with most of the industry.

And their fanbase will go right on sinking money into their other games, because they will buy absolutely anything if you hurl enough ads at them.

What? Zynga rips people off?

My surprise is significant.

No, wait. my surprise does not exist.

Zynga represents almost everything that is wrong with Facebook and completely everything that is wrong with social gaming. I'd pay anything for it to be destroyed, obliterated, annihilated and burned to the ground.

Irridium:
hehe, thats like shutting down Modern Warfare 2's servers, then telling them to try Wii Sports.

Modern Warfare 2 has a host and lobby system, not servers.

They have made their motivations true, they are after your money. I would want a FULL refund, not just the past 90 days. That's severe bullshit. Maybe you never spend a time in that time but invested more hunderds of dollars before.

Aah, glad I am not suffering or indulging in such game.

I dislike Zynga even more now. I mean they should have had the decency to release a proper apology before they shut it down.

DJPirtu:
So, the question is, if this is the wrong way to shut down such a game, what's the right way?

Offer credits in the first place not after everyone complains about it, have a similar game to replace it with or it least something that isn't drastically different and finally, don't be assholes. In the end these people are our their customers and their fanbase, if that's how you are going to treat their fans how do they expect a loyal fanbase?

Be courteous and nice instead of just expecting them all to shove over to Frontierland. Did you read the message they sent to their fans? No thank you for playing their game and begin a part of their fanbase, no apology for the fact they are just shutting down a game tat people have put money into, and no explanation as to why its being shut down. Essentially they are giving people who pay money to play their games a big middle finger.

Zynga handle anything gracefully and not try and rip people off? Yeah, I wasn't expecting it either.

OT: What a bunch of asses. I mean, half a million players is fucking gigantic for most Flash-Game companies, but, because they will only be as evil as they can, they try to take half a million people's money and close one of their games, making even more people angry. This, my friends, is why I hate these pricks.

Meh. They've made a complete mess of this, but is it really going to stop the eleventy billion people from using their other apps? Highly unlikely. They can afford to piss off half a million people when that's maybe 2% of their overall user base. It's a shitty thing to do, but so is making their users spam their friends to the point where everyone wants to delete them.

Well, the way they conduct business is one of the reasons why I don't play their games anymore. Plus, they're all pretty much the same, just re-skins as someone mentioned. That and I'd rather spend my money on real games.

Another reason to NEVER GIVE ZYNGA MONEY EVER!

Golem239:

Jaredin:
And thats why Zynga sucks...it dosnt care about its customer base. Only money, more and more money

why does that sound familiar to me? sounds like another game company

Sounds like just about every game company in buisness. I mean Clover cared about actual inovation, but they had to split up.

ciortas1:
Zynga represents almost everything that is wrong with Facebook and completely everything that is wrong with social gaming. I'd pay anything for it to be destroyed, obliterated, annihilated and burned to the ground.

give me £52 and a cider, should take a few hours.

Le Tueur:

Irridium:
hehe, thats like shutting down Modern Warfare 2's servers, then telling them to try Wii Sports.

Modern Warfare 2 has a host and lobby system, not servers.

It does have servers. Not dedicated servers like most are used to, but just basic servers that keep the game online and running.

Jaredin:
And thats why Zynga sucks...it dosnt care about its customer base. Only money, more and more money

Yeah screw you Activision wait we aren't talking about Activision are we.

Well any who I haven't played a Zynga game in a few months now since they are all pretty much clones of each other set in different time eras and settings along with the fact that they are clones of other Facebook games.

maddawg IAJI:

Kwil:
A dumb move on two fronts. This will also likely start a word of mouth campaign against Frontierville by about a half million upset people.

Ya, but the thing about a large majority of social gamers is that they don't tend to care that much nor do they listen. You could stand at a street corner for 2 hours talking about how Zynga did this and stole that or is ripping off those guys, but in the end, a good majority of the people you spoke to will still log into Farmville or Frontierville and keep playing and keep playing.

The difference is, the social gamers don't care if some developer they don't know got screwed, but when it comes to them and their friends, (and given that there's half a million of them) that's when the whole "social" aspect can easily become "mob"

That said, the updated news should take care of the problem.

I can't say that I shall be losing sleep over Zynga giving it's own users the finger. But I can see more similar events like this happening in the future, and not just confined to the likes of Zynga.

One day, in the future - the likes of EA or Activision will decide that it isn't "cost-effective" to run servers or support for a certain game which has outlasted it's usefulness to them.

But that's the danger of digital distribution - if the company can't be bothered to run it any more. Not only have you lost your game, but you have lost your money, too. Game companies follow the first rule of acquisition: "Once you have their money, you never give it back."

Personally, I think this business model stinks. If you have slapped down £40 / $60 for a game, you are entitled to play it for as long as you like because you have purchased it. Money changed hands down the shop, therefore, the game is yours.

The bottom line here I guess, is that if Zynga had ANY integrity - they would refund every penny those Street Racers put into their cars and whatnots because Zynga have physically stopped all the players from playing the game in the first place.

funksobeefy:
People put real money into Facebook games?

Yeah, they use their credit cards to purchase virtual items such as virtual fertilizer for virtual plants. It's ridiculous yet makes a lot of money. Wish I had thought of it first...I mean, they are practically paying somebody to show them a picture and say "well, this can help your plants grow. Oh, you're plants are growing. Here's some more land. You should buy more plants and you'll need to BUY more fertilizer to make those plants grow" and that just repeats an infinite amount of times while the people who made the program sits back and rolls in the money. Like I said, it's ridiculous...and I wish I had thought of it first...though, because it's so ridiculous, I wouldn't have thought it would work. I guess I overestimate people.

OT: According to this link, they've made close to $50 MILLION dollars (that was back in 2008 by the way). Here's the link: http://www.businessinsider.com/2009/1/time-to-stop-laughing-selling-virutal-goods-zynga-profits-on-50-million-revenues

Take this as a warning, anyone paying real money for any Zynga game. Sure, they credited these people after they griped enough (maybe they always planned to), but they only credited purchases in the last 90 days and added 100 units to that. So if you paid a lot more a year ago, you're still getting ripped off.

So... If Farmville/Mafia Wars/whatever fanbase gets too small, there's a chance that group might get ripped off in the future.

Paying money for something digital... It's great if you know you'll always be able to access what you paid for, but many times I think it's more like a rental I'm paying full price for. At least when I buy a hard copy I know I'll always have the hard copy, although then there's the issue of limited installs/securom. Sigh. I'm kinda glad I'm not that much of a PC gamer.

/facepalm

and this ladies and gentlemen is why you should NEVER use real-life money for purchases in a game (XBL and PSN not withstanding)

why? because there is nothing stopping them from screwing you over. Zynga had to have their arms severely twisted before they even threw them that bone.

DJPirtu:
So, the question is, if this is the wrong way to shut down such a game, what's the right way?

NCSoft did pretty well with Tabula Rasa - they were very honest with the player base about the fact it wasn't making enough money and invited all the old players back for one last stand where humanity was finally crushed by the bad guys before the servers went down. Of course, the players managed to hold out until the server went down, but the idea was that the game would end with humanity being wiped out :p I believe all existing paying customers were offered a copy of City of Heroes : Good Vs Evil and a few month's playtime which, while not exactly the same (although there's still a lot of badasses fighting aliens), is actually a pretty good deal.

I think the difference is in communication and respect - NCSoft made a big blowout, celebrated the few months Tabula Rasa actually had, and offered something by way of compensation, while Zynga has just gone "We're not making enough money with this! PLAY FRONTIERVILLE! FRONTIERVILLE MAKES MONEY!"

Ok Zynga fans, will you now admit that your favourite company IS actually ripping you off?

No?

I didn't think so. Keep throwing your money at them then.

Andy Chalk:

Credge:
So people are upset because a game they payed money for no longer works?

As far as that goes, I'm kind of inclined to agree. No game lasts forever and that's especially true with microtransaction-based digital content. It's one of the reasons I tend to avoid digital purchases, even if I have to put much greater effort into finding conventional copies. It's mine and it can't be taken away just because somebody decides that it's no longer cost effective.

But the real problem here, I think, is Zynga's attitude. Losing digital content is life in the big city but the whole "go play Frontierville" thing is just a slap in the face, as is the decision to shut down Street Racing without any explanation whatsoever. It displays a remarkable level of contempt toward the customer base that's pretty hard for anyone to miss.

YES, but i´m sure people should had being completelly angry since it was offering "Spyware" for chips in "texas hold´em"

and then not caring for its costumers
and then offending them
and then...

bla bla bla

bottom line is, ZYNGA is the worst service based enterprise ever created, why go on with their way of doing things???

I don't know why this would be called a "wave of unhappy gamers". In fact, if it wasn't for this very article, I would not have known about this development. Less than half a million MAU is what Street Racing boasted. It clearly was not making the revenue necessary in order to keep it supported. So it was closed down, this is how business works. That being said, having in game messages to play on other Zynga games isn't uncommon. So this kind of ad of course comes naturally. This article is riff with opinion based comments which are distorting the facts. I don't consider anything within the ad to be "condescending" or "screw you trifecta". This is entirely the opinion of the article writer, and does not reflect the truth of the matter.

One thing that bothers me is that the author of this article provides conjecture that everyone was going to be ripped off when all the while Zynga was offering to return credit to it's active players. Then the author plays it off like it just happened now. This kind of lack of fact checking is something I've come to expect from the worst of article writers, not from authors at The Escapist.

Golem239:

Jaredin:
And thats why Zynga sucks...it dosnt care about its customer base. Only money, more and more money

why does that sound familiar to me? sounds like another ANY OTHER game company

Fixed.

Oh no now I am forced to play the several other "games" that Zynga has made.

Marmooset:
"We're closing down the escapist. But if you liked that, try 4chan!"

*shoots my self*

Keeping this article for next years March Madness.

Jaredin:
And thats why Zynga sucks...it dosnt care about its customer base. Only money, more and more money

Don't forget scams, they love them some scamming, hell the guy behind Zynga has admitted to using every dirty trick in the book (and a few only known to Flipper), to get quick money.

So honestly, the "rip-off" part is rather unsurprising.

Well someone has been suscribing to Activision's way of thinking.

LOL! How many of you have _played_ Street Racer in the last month? Game is old! This is like beating up Nintendo for not offering repair service on their old Donkey Kong arcade machines.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Ok Zynga fans, will you now admit that your favourite company IS actually ripping you off?

No?

I didn't think so. Keep throwing your money at them then.

Pifft, of course they wouldn't admit to it. By this point, they're so far in the cult they're breeding hybrids and chanting "Iä! Iä! Zynga fhtagn!".

Well, at least (some of) the customers are getting (some of) their money back. Still, the whole affair is very screwy, and didn't need to happen. Any word yet as to why it's shut down? Or are we just going to go with the "wasn't profitable enough" assumption?

I can imagine several of the higher-ups at Zynga in tears over actually having to give back some of their money.

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