Farmville, helping you lose Facebook friends since 2009.
Last night I came across the tweet below from Dan Porter, the CEO of OMGPOP, which makes the hit game Draw Something (recently acquired by Zynga). Porter is now the VP of General Management for Zynga New York. They’re in reference to a former OMGPOP employee, named Shay Pierce who wrote a piece in Gamasutra stating that he wouldn’t be joining Zynga post-acquisition citing that it “views players as weak-minded cash cows”.
Other than the above being tactless and petty, what really bothered me was that this behavior is not at all new for Zynga. They have quite the reputation for scamming their own users, ripping off the games created by other developers, requiring employees to give back their stock, and not telling employees how much their equity is truly worth. I’ve heard similar ramblings from former Zynga employees in person. So, why are we still surprised?
While I’m certainly proud of the OMGPOP team for working through the tough times to a successful exit, it’s hard to feel good for a company that treats people (their users and employees alike) this way time and time again. Hope the money was worth it.