"What we learned and are learning in mobile is that the overnight successes take two to three years to get to."
- Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus
Three months ago, Zynga founder Mark Pincus retook the CEO job from former EA and Xbox man Don Mattrick. He's settled in, and as the company starts to inch closer to positive performance, he's given an interview to VentureBeat that encapsulates his challenges and vision.
The quote above may be a cliche, but it's also great advice for anyone hoping to make a quick success of a game -- mobile or not. It doesn't come easy.
For a concrete example of how Zynga is applying that philosophy, there's this snippet from Pincus: "We’ve launched FarmVille: Harvest Swap, which is our entry into the match three space. I’d call that a seed. It’s a smaller entry point for us into an equally large market."
He also has takes the long-view of "social gaming," a phrase Zynga used to be synonymous with but which you rarely hear used anymore because it conjures up images of games played on a desktop PC, not a phone.
"We’re not there yet, but I think social gaming wants to be a whole medium, in the same way that social networking and social media are mediums. Over the next 10 years, people are going to do social networking and social media in and around their game-playing."
In the end, "social gaming" is a bigger concept than "Facebook" -- as Glu Mobile creative director Joshua Dallman recently illustrated in a post on how to design games with mass appeal -- and retains its currency.