Civilization Facebook Game Admits Defeat

Civilization Facebook Game Admits Defeat

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CivWorld shutters its doors after two years on Facebook.

"Rulers of great civilizations, repent! The world is coming to an end!" While one Civilization II game has slogged on for a decade now, the social spinoff CivWorld announced that it will be going under after two years. Current players have until May 29th to customize their throne rooms, spend their CivBucks, and say goodbye to their personal empires until the Facebook game goes dark forever.

Famed series creator Sid Meier was involved with CivWorld's design. While it still had the strategic core the franchise is known for, it also mixed in other elements common to the social medium. The result was a game that focused more on cooperation with other players rather than competition between them. Unlike traditional Civ games, CivWorld had no actual end, with the intention to keep players clicking indefinitely. CivWorld hit its peak in July 2011 with 88,754 active daily users. In January of last year, that number was 5,000. Today, it barely scrapes by with 2,000 daily active users. Even happy cartoon Sid wasn't enough to keep players clicking.

Facebook has not proved to be a very receptive place for social versions of AAA titles. CivWorld joins other failed social adaptations like Dragon Age: Legends and Ghost Recon Commander. Ironically, Civilization 2 designer Brian Reynolds joined (and recently left) Zynga. Along with the former giant's recent cullings, it's not difficult to speculate that the social bubble is deflating a bit, if not yet fully collapsing. It should be interesting to read postmortems about these experiments with social gaming in years to come.

Starting April 2nd, players will no longer be able to redeem their Facebook credits for CivBucks. This gives players two months to spend their balance until the sun sets in CivWorld forever. Interested parties can read more details about the eminent apocalypse here.

Source: CivWorld Facebook via Inside Social Games

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I remember checking this out. Expected a "Civ-light" that I could play with friends. What I got, was a bloated, buggy mess which exists only to push microtransactions.

What they don't seem to get, is that Civilization traditionally attracts actual gamers. When you replace it with a horrible cowclicker, they won't play it, which leaves you with housewives and 17 year old girls as a target audience. They won't play it either. That's why cowclicker versions of AAA games always fail. Let's hope more of them pull the plug soon, it's just sad to see such malformed "games" existing.

And the most tragic thing about this is that absolutely no one saw this coming. Absolutely no one.

Boy, why wouldn't players want a Civ game you can't win. That it can't possibly let you win because it needs to keep c@#$teasing you and trying to get you to buy more stuff forever.

And you know why it's not been the most receptive place for these games...because they're terrible.

I remember trying it out back in the day and after the tutorial, I never logged in again. It wasn't at all what I expected from a Civ game. I logged back in to take that screenshot and found myself ranked 120th on the leaderboard for some reason. I actually tried to get into the game a bit more this time and found that it devolves into the slow, steady, staircase of accomplishment that social games are known for. For some reason, the entire "genre" is this way, which seems like more of a market thing than an actual platform thing.

next time, just make a new Alpha Centuri.

I remember, I played this for all of a week....... It was the week I was on jury duty....... I would wake up, go to jury duty, come home at noon, boot up facebook, play the game and go to bed, wash rinse repeat for the week..... When I was done with jury duty I was done with the game.

Evil Smurf:
next time, just make a new Alpha Centuri.

News article some time in the future

"Alpha Centuri 2 makes more in first week than Facebook Civ made in 2 year run, developers wondering how they could have been so stupid."

Desert Punk:

Evil Smurf:
next time, just make a new Alpha Centuri.

News article some time in the future

"Alpha Centuri 2 makes more in first week than Facebook Civ made in 2 year run, developers wondering how they could have been so stupid."

I'd forgive them for any facebook game too.

I tried this when the beta was announced. Couldn't get past the 'wait a while' to do something. I'm usually popping in and out of facebook, but when playing a game I want to play it, not check up on it every so often. Perhaps I wasn't the target market for this, It's the first FB game i've played so maybe this is how they're all designed.

Heh, when I saw CivWorld announcements I was really engaged. I was hoping they'll make it like more dynamic version of Civ for lesser sessions of intense gameplay with some sort of fights for provinces while developing the core of the Empire to support those province combats... But THAT stuff??? Who could even think it can work at all???

Evil Smurf:
next time, just make a new Alpha Centuri.

A thousand times this.

Evil Smurf:
next time, just make a new Alpha Centuri.

Yeah, but not as a Facebook game.

Dear God, anything but that!

Also, I'm asking you about your cat user group.

Honest question: if the social bubble has burst, does that mean the whole 'everything must be tied to sharing' system that the PS4 is going to have is just Sony jumping onto a bandwagon that has not only long passed, but is in a ditch and on fire?
Does this also mean that the generation after these new-boxes might be free of this constant and superfluous style of socializing? I'm really hoping it does.

DoveAlexa:
Honest question: if the social bubble has burst, does that mean the whole 'everything must be tied to sharing' system that the PS4 is going to have is just Sony jumping onto a bandwagon that has not only long passed, but is in a ditch and on fire?
Does this also mean that the generation after these new-boxes might be free of this constant and superfluous style of socializing? I'm really hoping it does.

I wish it would die, die in a horrible fire...

But ass Angry joe pointed out, the Share feature for the PS4 is more likely aimed at people who do things like Lets Plays and such, even though it will probably be useless for them as it doesn't allow them to do any of the editing and the like, just shows everything on the fly

Desert Punk:

DoveAlexa:
Honest question: if the social bubble has burst, does that mean the whole 'everything must be tied to sharing' system that the PS4 is going to have is just Sony jumping onto a bandwagon that has not only long passed, but is in a ditch and on fire?
Does this also mean that the generation after these new-boxes might be free of this constant and superfluous style of socializing? I'm really hoping it does.

I wish it would die, die in a horrible fire...

But ass Angry joe pointed out, the Share feature for the PS4 is more likely aimed at people who do things like Lets Plays and such, even though it will probably be useless for them as it doesn't allow them to do any of the editing and the like, just shows everything on the fly

Well, I hope that's more the case. I was worried it was going to become a new sort of achievement system where you get bothered constantly to do things right in the middle of playing. Like for example, you're playing an intense stealth game and right at a crucial moment the game pops up with some semi-relevant advice and asks if you want to share your progress (make a useless status update) with friends right then and there, which will pull you completely out of the game to do so.

If its about game streaming, I know a friend who streams games on PC constantly. If the system can play it without lag, good for it, but if not, why even bother?

DoveAlexa:

Desert Punk:

DoveAlexa:
Honest question: if the social bubble has burst, does that mean the whole 'everything must be tied to sharing' system that the PS4 is going to have is just Sony jumping onto a bandwagon that has not only long passed, but is in a ditch and on fire?
Does this also mean that the generation after these new-boxes might be free of this constant and superfluous style of socializing? I'm really hoping it does.

I wish it would die, die in a horrible fire...

But ass Angry joe pointed out, the Share feature for the PS4 is more likely aimed at people who do things like Lets Plays and such, even though it will probably be useless for them as it doesn't allow them to do any of the editing and the like, just shows everything on the fly

Well, I hope that's more the case. I was worried it was going to become a new sort of achievement system where you get bothered constantly to do things right in the middle of playing. Like for example, you're playing an intense stealth game and right at a crucial moment the game pops up with some semi-relevant advice and asks if you want to share your progress (make a useless status update) with friends right then and there, which will pull you completely out of the game to do so.

If its about game streaming, I know a friend who streams games on PC constantly. If the system can play it without lag, good for it, but if not, why even bother?

Well from what Joe was saying about it, it was things like streaming it to show it off to friends, and they demonstrated that while streaming it if you are having trouble people watching on a PS4 can have the game passed off to them for them to play through a section for you like hot seating the game, or your friends watching you play can give you advice.

He did say he was worried about what you were talking about, being in the middile of a fantasy RPG and getting a brand new awesome sword then the game shouting at you "YOU JUST GOT AN AWESOME SWORD! WHY DONTCHA SHARE IT WITH YER FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK?!"

Yeah if I want an endless play game that you can't win so to speak I'll play fucking Illyriad. CivWorld was a horrible decision, a waste of time and effort, a bloated mess and a piece of shit all around. I'm glad it's gone under and gone.

The true reason for the PS4's share button is to ensure that the only friend left for PS4 owners is Sony.

DoveAlexa:
Honest question: if the social bubble has burst, does that mean the whole 'everything must be tied to sharing' system that the PS4 is going to have is just Sony jumping onto a bandwagon that has not only long passed, but is in a ditch and on fire?
Does this also mean that the generation after these new-boxes might be free of this constant and superfluous style of socializing? I'm really hoping it does.

In this case, "social" is the name of a particular genre of games that try to monetize time and attempt to spread virally via social networks. While they're almost impossible to play alone, they are usually very anti-social in nature.

Meanwhile, the PS4 is talking about actual social behavior, like when you chat with your friends via steam and take screenshots of that time when your friend totally crashed the Galaxy, AGAIN.

Facebook 2004 = people socializing with each other.

Facebook today = cluttered and insincere spam factory designed to steal your personal information, question mark question mark question mark, profit.

Farm Town = A simple time management game where you can gift items to friends, tapping into the tendancies of players already using facebook. Designed to allow the most enjoyable social interactions with the smallest possible time commitment.

Farmville = Zynga rips off Farm Town, successfully milks the freemium business model for all it's worth.

Civilization = Legacy series of American turn-based building games for the PC. Designed to be played single-player or competetively in long, epic campaigns.

CivWorld = Frankenstien monster created from the desecrated corpses of Civilization and Farmville. With the pacing of farmville, the aesthetics-of-play of Civ, and business practices hastily cribbed from the Zynga/Facebook playbook, there was basically no reason for anyone like this game. The fact that it lasted for two years and attracted even 88,000 users is a testament to the licensing power of the Civ brand which Sid Meyers basically just flushed down the toilet by greenlighting this game.

I don't think this marks the beginning of the end for Facebook games or Zynga, unfortunately. I think it's just a textbook example of how not to be Sid Meyer's IP.

Don't get me wrong, any indie developer would LOVE to have 2000 daily active users. But Zynga is the EA of facebook, (wow... what a terrible thing to call somebody...) and the EA of facebook somehow needs 27 million daily active users just to break even.

Personally I'm hoping for some major lawsuits to come of things like this, and start finally hammering down the EULAs. I doubt this will be where the line is drawn though.

One thing I've always pointed out is that people paying real money for virtual property is a touchy thing, especially seeing as it's been defended as this non-existant property having value based on context and what people ascribe to it. Video games at their current level of development can't exist indefinatly, and with all of the microtransaction fueled games out there, especially "free to play" ones that you can jump in and out of, it's inevitable that they are going to start to go down, probably in clusters as many of them reach their "twilight" at the same time.

I know the companies ARE covered by their EULAs, or so they think, but there is going to rapidly be a question as to people with hundreds or thousands of dollars invested in these games who stay committed until the end, losing all the time and money they put into the product especially if they still want to play, or simply if they liked the idea that they could play anytime they wanted and have their virtual property waiting for them.

With a failure of a game like Civworld, I don't see much of an issue here, but when I look at people simply losing their "Civbucks" and/or whatever was purchused with them I see the beginning of a trend that is going to be interesting if people get mad enough when a company like Funcom goes down (in the middle of a huge crash), or perhaps worse yet "Perfect World" given that right now Star Trek Online seems to have risen from the grave to become a bigger success than City Of Heroes (Cryptic's former leading game) ever was, I myself put a decent chunk of change into AoC/TSW/STO/CO between those companies and I know people who have literally purchused everything in the respective online stores for those games.

I think we might be in for an interesting few years, and to be honest I think the goverment should introduce legislation requiring any kind of game with microtransactions to be backed by a trust fund that generates enough interest to ensure the operation and maitnence of servers indefinatly even if the company otherwise expires.

Binnsyboy:

Evil Smurf:
next time, just make a new Alpha Centuri.

Yeah, but not as a Facebook game.

Dear God, anything but that!

Also, I'm asking you about your cat user group.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/groups/chat/Catoholics-anonymous

Feel free to join. We do cat gifs.

Therumancer:
Personally I'm hoping for some major lawsuits to come of things like this, and start finally hammering down the EULAs. I doubt this will be where the line is drawn though.

One thing I've always pointed out is that people paying real money for virtual property is a touchy thing, especially seeing as it's been defended as this non-existant property having value based on context and what people ascribe to it. Video games at their current level of development can't exist indefinatly, and with all of the microtransaction fueled games out there, especially "free to play" ones that you can jump in and out of, it's inevitable that they are going to start to go down, probably in clusters as many of them reach their "twilight" at the same time.

I know the companies ARE covered by their EULAs, or so they think, but there is going to rapidly be a question as to people with hundreds or thousands of dollars invested in these games who stay committed until the end, losing all the time and money they put into the product especially if they still want to play, or simply if they liked the idea that they could play anytime they wanted and have their virtual property waiting for them.

With a failure of a game like Civworld, I don't see much of an issue here, but when I look at people simply losing their "Civbucks" and/or whatever was purchused with them I see the beginning of a trend that is going to be interesting if people get mad enough when a company like Funcom goes down (in the middle of a huge crash), or perhaps worse yet "Perfect World" given that right now Star Trek Online seems to have risen from the grave to become a bigger success than City Of Heroes (Cryptic's former leading game) ever was, I myself put a decent chunk of change into AoC/TSW/STO/CO between those companies and I know people who have literally purchused everything in the respective online stores for those games.

I think we might be in for an interesting few years, and to be honest I think the goverment should introduce legislation requiring any kind of game with microtransactions to be backed by a trust fund that generates enough interest to ensure the operation and maitnence of servers indefinatly even if the company otherwise expires.

It would be easier to just make a last patch for the game about to expire that lets you play the games one player style without needing to connect to a server or just make the software into shareware so players can take it onto themselves to maintain a community. Either way would be more effective than passing laws and involving lawyers who would just muck it up.

Well I played and this news does not surprise me at all as the game sucked. It was pretty much pay to win game that constantly encouraged you to buy some civ bucks.

DoveAlexa:
Honest question: if the social bubble has burst, does that mean the whole 'everything must be tied to sharing' system that the PS4 is going to have is just Sony jumping onto a bandwagon that has not only long passed, but is in a ditch and on fire?
Does this also mean that the generation after these new-boxes might be free of this constant and superfluous style of socializing? I'm really hoping it does.

Dear god in heaven I hope so. I'm so tired of this social crap that's been going on for the past few years now. If I want to share my gaming stuff with someone I'll tell them myself. Glad to know I'm not the only one who feels about the subject like this. Just wondering but where did you hear about the "social bubble" bursting cause I really would like that to happen already.

I had NO idea this even existed.

And, to add insult to injury, I actually 'liked' Alpha Centauri & Civilization 2.
But, still, no 'recommendation' this game was there.

Desert Punk:

DoveAlexa:
Honest question: if the social bubble has burst, does that mean the whole 'everything must be tied to sharing' system that the PS4 is going to have is just Sony jumping onto a bandwagon that has not only long passed, but is in a ditch and on fire?
Does this also mean that the generation after these new-boxes might be free of this constant and superfluous style of socializing? I'm really hoping it does.

I wish it would die, die in a horrible fire...

But ass Angry joe pointed out, the Share feature for the PS4 is more likely aimed at people who do things like Lets Plays and such, even though it will probably be useless for them as it doesn't allow them to do any of the editing and the like, just shows everything on the fly

Does that mean that it's aimed at the "point a camera at the screen" crowd then?

Tanis:
I had NO idea this even existed.

And, to add insult to injury, I actually 'liked' Alpha Centauri & Civilization 2.
But, still, no 'recommendation' this game was there.

I'm in the same boat. I love Civ, and heck, Sid Meier's body of work in general (the man could make a game about watching paint dry addictive, if he set his mind to it.) I use Facebook, I think I may have even liked some related pages, but I've never heard of this game until today. I'm probably about as close to a target audience as this thing had, and I didn't know about it until they pulled the plug.

dalek sec:

Dear god in heaven I hope so. I'm so tired of this social crap that's been going on for the past few years now. If I want to share my gaming stuff with someone I'll tell them myself. Glad to know I'm not the only one who feels about the subject like this. Just wondering but where did you hear about the "social bubble" bursting cause I really would like that to happen already.

In this very article. "...it's not difficult to speculate that the social bubble is deflating a bit, if not yet fully collapsing." I decided to remove the cruft words/apologetic language and just say burst.

That one was actually one of the funner ones.

dalek sec:

DoveAlexa:
Honest question: if the social bubble has burst, does that mean the whole 'everything must be tied to sharing' system that the PS4 is going to have is just Sony jumping onto a bandwagon that has not only long passed, but is in a ditch and on fire?
Does this also mean that the generation after these new-boxes might be free of this constant and superfluous style of socializing? I'm really hoping it does.

Dear god in heaven I hope so. I'm so tired of this social crap that's been going on for the past few years now. If I want to share my gaming stuff with someone I'll tell them myself. Glad to know I'm not the only one who feels about the subject like this. Just wondering but where did you hear about the "social bubble" bursting cause I really would like that to happen already.

I'm with you but I don't know which way this is going to swing. It's one of those things where if 51% of your market favour the socializing side, then it's going to be implemented for 100% of the users. You can try to ignore it sure but it's still something that gets in your face from time to time and as it costs money to implement it's something you've unfortunately had to pay for.

As someone against these things I like to liken it to reading a book, or hell even movies. You may want to discuss them after but during the event you sit down and let the material entertain you. You don't have an "watched 100 movies!" 'achievement' pop up on the screen in the theater, or in a book an option to share or tweet your thoughts after Tyrion lures Joffrey into a brothel where gets violated and beaten to death by a horde of angry whores (that doesn't actually happen, unfortunately :) ). I know video games are more of an interactive medium, but that doesn't mean I want to be interrupted while playing.

Evil Smurf:
next time, just make a new Alpha Centuri.

a tohusand times this. we defeinatelly need new apha centaury. we had 3 Civ games since.
better yet, join them. make Civ 6 with alpha centaury to happen afterwards. like, you build a spaceship in Civ, then the spaceship flies off and bam your in apha centaury continuing your civilization with same rivals, still being calculated on earth if no spaceship and lagging behind if thats the case in civ. like a civ game that lets you go not only into thep ast but into the future. i been wantign for such game for like 5 years nwo though, tough :(

 

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