Agent’s Journal – Miracles Do Happen!

Big Viking Games has restored Alby’s faith in human nature…

Dear Journal,

I am still in shock at the news that Big Viking Games has bought YoVille back. I was hoping that it would happen, but in all honesty, I really did have my doubts.

Zynga is a huge company. It’s sole purpose in life is to make money to pay its share-holders. It’s not a charity offering free games to youngsters, the poor and/or the disabled. If a game is doing well, it will promote that game. If a game is struggling, it will get shut of it. At one stage, YoVille had MILLIONS of players, and Zynga pulled out all the stops to keep it rolling. But times change. YoVille slumped, and other games raced ahead. Zynga turned it’s sight to those games instead.

Now anyone with any knowledge of finance will know that, when Zynga announced that it was ditching YoVille, it was making a sensible business move. Who in their right mind would throw good money after bad? This did not go down well with players, though. Many started screaming that YoVille was the most popular game, was still bringing in loads of money for Zynga, and if the game went, Zynga would become bankrupt. Well, with the greatest respect to those who said this – that is rubbish! YoVille was far from being the most popular game, and was not bringing in the most money. If anything, it was bringing in very little because people were, for whatever reasons, not willing to buy YoCash.

Now of course, players were right when they said “why should we buy YoCash if the game is not working properly” – to which Zynga thought to itself “why should we fix the game when people refuse to buy YoCash”. Catch 22, but either way, Zynga would not go bankrupt if YoVille closed. YoVille income was nothing compared to that being brought in by games like FarmVille 2 and Zynga Poker.

Then, along came Big Viking Games. A reasonably sized company, but smaller in size, fewer games to manage – and has what appears to be a very different work ethic. The first thing that stood out about Big Viking games was the ‘family’ feel of the company. The owners are ‘approachable’ as has been seen by the emails between players and Greg Thomson. Then there is the open way in which the company answers questions on its company Facebook page. This makes a refreshing change from the way Zynga refused to respond to players comments over in the YoVille forums.

People play YoVille for different reasons. Some like the buying/selling function, some like to decorate, and others like to meet up with other players. Some players like to do all three. However way you look at it, YoVille could be seen as a ‘family’ game and I honestly think that it should be run by a ‘family’ company. Zynga took it and changed it into a ‘monster’ which peaked too soon, but Big Viking Games is the perfect company to take the game back  and help it return to its roots.

That a company would take a declining game and want to breathe new life into it, is to me, fantastic news. At a time when the economy is bad all around the world, this is a very rare thing. Of course, I am not naive. Big Viking Games will no doubt make a lot of money from players supporting its other games. but I don’t begrudge them that. I am just happy that they have taken a leap of faith and reached out to us when we needed them most.

Alby x

Yo’s are you, like Alby, amazed that a smaller company like Big Viking Games would take on an ailing game and attempt to restore it to its former glory? Do you like the way that Big Viking games is so much more approachable than Zynga? Do you think Big Viking Games will succeed in getting YoVille back on its feet as YoWorld? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below.

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