In response to Heartless Zynga

Go camping with Rafael and Yvette in CastleVille Legends

Hello friends,

first I'd like to thank Fabio Gemignani for bringing to my attention that the current CEO, Frank Gibeau has seen the online petitions circulating around the net. Zynga's CEO has given a response -- CastleVille Legends will continue its course to shut down.

One of the petitions has posted their own opinion on how things have gone. However I'd like to take the moment to clear a few things up by quoting parts of what was written then responding with a few points of my own.


Quote:  Farmville 2 Country Escape continues to have the same bugs as all Zynga games and they'll probably close it for Farmville 3 - quoted from https://www.change.org/p/facebook-test/u/16014653


FarmVille 2 Country Escape will be...


We do not know for sure what is in store for FarmVille games until we receive an official statement. Until then it can only be speculation. Although nothing is for certain as not a single one of Zynga's games is safe. After all, this company has a proven track record of shutting down several game titles in the past. I also warn that a player must play a Zynga title keeping in mind that it could very well be closed at any time. Of course, this goes for any other developer game out in the market.

Quote: Zynga's problem isn't the game but bad planning decisions (timing and event design) by game developers, various bugs, and cheaters. Zynga simply fell out of love with Castleville Legends. - quoted from https://www.change.org/p/facebook-test/u/16014653


Zynga's bad plans... 


The game itself was never the problem. The glitches or lack of content updates etc were a part of losing daily players but what was the full on demise of CastleVille Legends was lack of monetization growth. Money. Money, talks. This is a sad truth that applies to any game that is out there on store shelves or in the virtual market. Our beloved games are created to make the most money at any given time. If a game does not make money then the investors will pull out their resources, and force the developer to shut down the game.


It was clearly evident. Over 8 months of no holiday events. Releasing Hazel was annoyance to Zynga so they dumped it out the trash. Zynga game developers not knowing how to deal with the Unity player issue.  - quoted from https://www.change.org/p/facebook-test/u/16014653


There was no love for the game...


Here, I must disagree that it was clearly evident there was no love for the game. I was a part of the QA team that helped to test parts of the Hazel event. It was not an annoyance. Everyone that had a hand in creating the Hazel event had so much joy in finally being able to release her.  There was also far, far, more planned including the final confrontation with the Dark Alchemist and later on opening up the Dwarven/Elven lands. I vaguely hinted at a few of the things we were going to have way back in a April Fool's Day post, "Exciting News: Hazel's Return."

What happened was that resources were cut off for no given reason. No one knew anything except that the plans that were drawn out could not go further then the basic stages.

The Unity player issue was another thorn in their side. I mentioned before the problems all Facebook games were having due to FB's CEO disliking how the game feeds took over the normal feed. Then came in the further issues of Adobe Flash always being unstable/unsafe. It was only a matter of time that Unity player pulled away from using Flash in their Web Player as it affected their brand.

It is also true that at that time, the higher ups in Zynga knew what was happening and didn't feel anyone else needed to know what was going on. And yes indeed, the developers had to sit on their hands as there wasn't anything they could do to deal with the Unity player/Facebook issue. The reason being lack of information from higher ups and resources were already cut off.



Zynga support saying for months that Castleville Legends closing down was a rumor and they were developing events and "just wait and keep playing" raise your vault storage and keep crafting. - quoted from https://www.change.org/p/facebook-test/u/16014653


Blame everyone because they all knew...


At the risk of sounding alike a broken record; there was no resources to lift a finger to fix anything. Zynga's CVL team was bottom of the ladder rung of people that needed to know what was going on. Now imagine where all the QA testers, Super Moderators; as well as the Community Managers, and the Forum Moderators(whom are all volunteers and are not paid) stand at on that ladder. All that was given was a staple response to give to any inquiries. No one except the people on the highest level of CEOs, Board directors and Chief Officers knew anything until it was deemed necessary to know.

However, the higher ups did know, and they were the ones responsible for stringing everyone along until the last possible moment. Which is why it was so upsetting to learn that for a good while the events that were being released had to be done on a limited budget and with no reason as to why it had to be done that way. Sure there was speculation but in reality not a single employee was hoping any of it was to come true.

Now imagine all those bottom rung employees located in the Dallas/San Francisco headquarters being given a month's notice that they are transferring/losing their job. It wasn't a pleasant feeling to say the least. Basically, everything was simply tossed into their laps just as much as it happened to us. Please don't blame everyone, only the ones responsible.

That they'd rather upgrade/raise levels of Farmville 2 Country Escape and the support website than work on events for Castleville Legends- quoted from https://www.change.org/p/facebook-test/u/16014653


The FarmVille titles are making money so they get nice stuff



Sadly, this is true because at the moment the FarmVille titles combined are performing way above what CastleVille Legends and other misc combined titles had performed. I already went into that in the blog entry I had written before called, "What do Zyngas earnings mean for CastleVille Legends."

Please don't misunderstand this entry as some sort of negative front against what was written on the latest petition. I fully support it. I also feel that the person that created the petition is a very loyal CVL player and heartfelt fan that is doing everything he/she can to keep the game going. Honestly, I am inspired by his/her actions. I only wanted to clear up a few misunderstandings as not everything is as it seemed. Many of the employees that were on the CastleVille Legends team were dedicated fans that wanted to keep the game open for as long as possible. Unfortunately, in the eyes of Zynga's CEO, board members/investors, our dedication and love for the game simply isn't enough. And that's a shame as CastleVille Legends is a unique game that had tons of potential.

Where ever the winds take you ---

Happy Playing!
Masaya


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