I was reminiscing this evening... I wonder, if my name - or Game-name is uttered in Marc Pincus's office, does he still go pale?
How it all began to go wrong...The day Zynga kicked it’s Vampire Wars customers (players) in the Fangs!
I think everyone on Vampire Wars remembers the day in question: February 13th 2009.
I remember it because I was an active member of the Vampire Wars Group forum on FB and I remember joining in on quite a lot of the threads.
One particular subject springs to mind was the ‘Valentines Day Massacre’ that was planned for the weekend. The previous ‘themed weekend’ had gone really well and had really perked up the interest in the game so we had no reason to imagine that this weekend would be any different...
Oh how wrong can you be?
Most were used to the game being screwed about with on Thursdays – that was the day that all/any changes had to be finished and put into the game because (my opinion) it gave everyone at Zynga time to jump ship for the weekend and avoid the influx of angry emails and Forum Postings because they had messed up yet again.
This particular weekend was different... oh so very different...
The Self-Claim Hitlist had gone!
Zynga had de-fanged their game.
A game which when I joined was already well-established and had a number of Legends up on the Leader Boards.
A game which was billed as being bloodthirsty, violent and which had no rules... not even a rule which prevented you from attacking mercilessly until your opponent was dead!
A game which was rated as 5 out of 5!
What made this all the more of a stake to the heart of the game was that we know the Devs were reading our forums, even if they didn’t post. They KNEW about the plans! The plans that we were implementing to make THEIR game even more appealing to us - the players!
If Zynga thought that they could wriggle out of this one unscathed, then they had another think coming. The Forums were up in arms! Some went visiting MySpace to see how they fared with the game...
What a revelation THAT was!
MySpace had replies from the Developers of Vampire Wars! The Devs actually answered questions there!
Everything FB Vampires Fans learned from then on was another kick in the already bloodied fangs for us.
Still, some of us were determined to keep the game as true to the dark, violent and vicious game we had spent time (and money) on for all these months. Some of us worked around the loss of the self-claim Hitlist. We posted our ways around it and the Devs used those hints and tips to further ‘improve’ those hints out.
The opportunity of staying on the Hitlist and ‘Riding’ it for Exp Points went. Then they forced a time-limit on the ‘ride’ - 12 hours max!
Next thing, you couldn’t even gain Exp from Vampires attacking and losing to you after a certain amount of Exp gained! Where was the reward for spending all that time getting to close to the top of the tree?
It was theorised that Zynga had gone all ‘sparkly’ and caved in to the demands of the romanticised ‘Twilight’ Vampire film and the ‘Twilight Tweenies’ that followed it.
What happened to ‘No Rules’?
What happened to ‘Most Violent and Bloodthirsty game on the net’?
It has turned into a Disney cartoon version!
We now have The Little Mermaid when all we wanted was Nightmare before Christmas! Bring in Tim Burton! Bring in Gary Oldman! Give us Helena Bonham-Carter from Sweeny Todd!
For goodness sake Zynga! Grow a pair and give us back the game that we ask for! The game that a lot of us started playing before you screwed about with it and screwed it up!
Don’t even get me started on the ‘Official Zynga Forums’, their ‘Moderators’ and the bannings that have taken place!
That is of course, not to mention the other Blog that I started when I couldn’t get into the game and nothing was being done to correct the fault that prevented me from gaining access to the game – the one that was removed by request of a third party – mentioning no names...
The irony that is left is the quote from their game blurb:
Cast away your mortal chains and enter the night! Immerse yourself in a world of darkness as you form a clan of deadly disciples, wage war against your rivals, and hunt for blood to become the most infamous beast the world has ever known!
The hottest horror game on Facebook!
Learn devastating supernatural abilities to tear your foes limb from limb!
Carry out dark missions on your quest for blood and strength!
Create a clan with your friends to conquer and rule the vampire realm!
Control innocent minds and form an army of minions!
Who can type such rubbish with a straight face? Apparently Zynga can... and do.
The mind boggles...
Interviews with banned Players.
Updates of Zynga 'support emails'.
Updates of replies and responses from the others that pay into the game - the sponsors.
How Zynga get around the '120 hour response time' and their 'Resolved' stats - Fiction doesn't come into it.
Replies and responses from others that are annoyed at the lack of notice Zynga take from it's customers - the Players. After all, without the players, it would be just a pretty picture on screen, wearing pretty clothes... oh, hang on...