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Former Zynga general manager slams social gaming distribution platforms

Ex-Z

Zynga
ynga general manager Matthew Wiggins has criticised elements of the social gaming sector.

Wiggins quit Zynga in November 2012 having served just 18 months with the firm. There was little explanation, just a message on his personal blog wishing his former colleagues well.

He said: “It’s been quite a ride. I wish all the best for the good and talented people who I leave behind.”

Now though, speaking to the Guardian, Wiggins has launched an attack on facets of the social gaming industry, labelling the Steam distribution platform as “unpredictable” and a “dictatorship”, while citing Google Play as a “free-for-all”.

“Steam is a dictatorship, but the way they operate is very unpredictable. They could do with being more open and less autocratic. Google Play is kind of a free-for-all: a strange environment that's not high-quality, and very fragmented,” he said.

Wiggins was however complimentary of the Apple App Store, which he believes has been a “fair dictator” within the gaming world.

“Apple are very even-handed in the way they treat people, in terms of not favouring the biggest companies over smaller ones. As a small start-up without millions of quid in investment or an established presence, that gives you an extremely level playing field in which to operate,” he said.

Wiggins has set up a new independent games studio, JiggeryPokery, where the focus will be on long-term playability rather than immediate profits.

“I don't really care how much money we make in the first week or month. I want to make something that people will still be playing in two, three or five years time, and build that community around it,” he said.

"It's a totally virtuous thing: we want to make a good amount of revenue for a long time, but the only way we're going to do that is if players enjoy it enough,” he said.

Bruce Archer
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