The Sims Social is just as good, or even better as The Sims in short play sessions. Empires & Allies is better than Hearts of Iron III under the same conditions, short play sessions. – Tobold
The best meal I can buy comes from a certain restaurant near me. It’s somewhat pricey, but it’s always great and the menu changes weekly based on what products are available locally. The meal usually takes about two hours, a bit longer if we do extra drinks and desert.
McDonalds is near the bottom on my ‘favorite meal’ list.
If you set a meal time limit of 5 minutes, and put the condition that I have to remain in the car, McDonalds might make the top 10 (albeit still at the bottom of the list), and certainly beats the restaurant above since, well, 5 minutes and in the car makes eating there impossible.
That does not mean the actual food quality of McDonalds has improved. It’s still garbage. But put enough limiters on the options and to a starving man horrible food is still better than death.
So if you are a ‘starving’ gamer, and you only have 5 minutes to play, maybe Facebook games are exactly what do it for you.
But how many people out there are actually, really starving? Certainly not the billions McDonalds has served, right? That 5 minute, cheap meal is the easy way out. Yes, long-term it’s killing you, yes it’s not actually ‘good’, but hey, 5 minutes and cheap! And for the twits, 5 minutes is bordering on TL/DR anyway. McDonalds makes its money not from starving people without options, but from twits who are too lazy or plan life too poorly to have time for a real meal.
And just like it would be insane for me to walk into McDonalds and expect a top-quality meal, it would be equally insane for me to walk into said restaurant and expect the meal in 5 minutes and ordered from my car.
McDonald players are flooding my MMO restaurant.
The point is not to turn Farmville into EVE, but to keep EVE as EVE (or whatever MMO you want to use as an example). It’s to keep the millions who were happily playing WoW playing WoW, rather than slowly leaving because WotLK/Cata came along and turned a semi-casual game into derpville. The notion that ‘dumbing-down’ always equates to more players is, finally, being proven wrong, be it with the Wii or with WoW.
This is even crazier when you consider the core business model of an MMO, which is to hook someone in and get them to come back over and over, months on end. And as that snowball grows, the community gets tighter, more ‘player content’ is produced, and, well, 2005 WoW happens. EVE continues to happen. AC-DT continues to be the highest-populated AC1 server. Etc.
The quick cash-grab of Farmville/McDonalds is NOT the MMO model. It’s something, and it works, and it has its audience, but it’s NOT the MMO model.
You either make Farmville for the parent with 10 kids and 5 minutes, or you make an MMO that retains people for years. YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH.
Just like you can’t be a parent with 10 kids and 5 minutes and really get into raiding. Raid or breed. YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH.