Zynga Founder Is Bored With Video Games; Gamers Reciprocate

Throughout my 26-plus years on Earth, I don’t think I’ve ever been bored with video games in general. Mark Pincus, on the other hand, seems to have that problem.

The revelation was made during a recent trip to Israel, where Pincus was talking with local entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and startup types. As reported by WSJ, Israeli venture capitalist Yossi Vardi asked Pincus what his favorite video game is. The answer was surprising, to say the least.

“Right now, I’m pretty bored with all games,’’ [Pincus] said.

Come again? Nothing from a competitor like “Candy Crush” or “Angry Birds” even? Surely something from the recent Zynga stable of games, like “Running With Friends” or the new “Castleville” mobile app on Facebook.?

When Vardi gave him the chance to retract or recast his comment, Pincus didn’t.

Zynga has jettisoned more executives in recent memory than OCP in the RoboCop series. The company has a new CEO, its brand is not terribly popular with core gamers, and it doesn’t treat employees terribly well, by all accounts. And let’s not forget the most important aspect, which is Zynga’s steadily falling user base – down by the tens of millions year over year. With that all in mind…how is saying “I’m bored with games,” the smart move here? I understand it wasn’t said during a press event, or even a Zynga gathering, but when you’re bored with what you do…isn’t it time to move on?

I’ve never been the type to play social games on Facebook, and most of my mobile gaming time is spent a) with a Nintendo 3DS, b) on emulators installed on my phone, or c) playing Doodle Jump. I’ve played Words with Friends a few times, but that’s where my Zynga experience begins and ends. There are millions out there who devote a fair amount of time and energy to Zynga games on Facebook, and iOS, and I doubt Pincus’ words will impact that much, if at all.

Pincus founded Zynga in 2007, and served as the CEO until August of this year, when he appointed former Xbox chief Don Mattrick as his replacement. Pincus is still Zynga’s Chief Product Officer, as well as Chairman of the Board.

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5 Comments on Zynga Founder Is Bored With Video Games; Gamers Reciprocate

gasmaskangel

On October 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I can totally see how you can become bored with games if all you make is stuff like Farmville.

J

On October 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Not surprised and it seems in character from what I’ve gathered about him. It’s the equivalent of a 5 year old who looses a game then takes his ball and cries “I’m going home”.

Except in this real world there are other’s making games, good games, that treat their employees decently. So him and his ball won’t be missed since everyone will be to busy playing games.

thedog

On October 2, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Nobody’s going to miss him when he’s gone. Funny, …. I don’t think Don Mattrick likes games either. That’s why he went to Zynga

Mr Flibble

On October 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I think it’s just taking his meaning out of context.

First, not saying zynga is awesome (that would just be stupid) or even great, or even good for that matter, but I think this statement might show some promise. By him saying “Right now, (where I am right now) I’m pretty bored with all games. (I find what I’m playing to be unfulfilling)”

Maybe I’m just an optimist, but I hope this is a signal of a realization that a bastardizing of simple addicting gameplay mechanics void of any depth or long term entertainment value for the sole sake of monetization is a dead end as far as video games being a an expressive artistic medium goes.

On an off-note, I think becoming bored with video games in general is a useful part of recognizing and appreciating what makes you attracted to them in the first place. Stripping away everything and starting out from scratch lets you build a deeper, more meaningful understanding of yourself.

Oprah

On October 7, 2013 at 6:45 am

@Mr Flibble – problem is, as was mentioned in the article, he was given the chance to rephrase and elaborate on his comment but chose not to. So even if that’s what he meant, he’s done a terrible job of explaining it.