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Popcap CEO Roberts: 'Great Games' Will Win Out Over Zynga

Speaking at Seattle's WTIA TechNW Forum, Popcap CEO Dave Roberts said Zynga's market-dominating position would not last forever because "great games are always going to be better than great marketing."
Popcap CEO Dave Roberts shared some choice words for Zynga and the wider social games industry during a panel at the WTIA TechNW Forum in Seattle today. As TechFlash reports, Roberts praised the social gaming juggernaut for marketing their games extremely effectively, but said the company was "in some ways struggling to catch up because they are not (about) gaming in their heritage." "We believe that ultimately, and it's our bias, that great content wins out, and that great games are always going to be better than great marketing," Roberts continued. To illustrate his point, Roberts noted that Popcap's Bejeweled Blitz is attracting more daily visitors than Zynga's Mafia Wars despite zero marketing spend on Popcap's part. "Zynga is really good at sort of using money to buy their customers every day." he said. "...That's an interesting business model, but becomes complicated." Roberts expanded his critique to the larger social gaming industry, which he said is going to have to adapt quickly to a world in which it's not as simple to achieve instant success on Facebook. "I think a lot of the easy money that catapulted companies like Zynga into this crazy stratosphere -- the easy money days are gone," Roberts said. "That doesn't mean the platform is dead, it just means that you actually now have to work at it. Now, it is not about luck, it is about good, old-fashioned hard work." In July, Popcap announced Zuma Blitz as the company's second Facebook game, and said the company was working to bring further adapted and original games to the popular social network. Zynga has reportedly grown to employ over 1,200 employees, adding up to 1,000 servers a day to keep up with the 215 million users that have played a Zynga title.

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