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Zynga’s weak earnings show social gaming’s diminishing returns

Remember the days when a lot of “serious” gamers were worried that the runaway success of social gaming companies was going to lead to a world where mindless, microtransaction-pushing social games would crowd out the rest of the industry? Those concerns are looking somewhat quaint this week after market leader Zynga posted results that were much weaker than expected, sending its stock price tumbling.

I suppose one can build a good business taking advantage of the most mundane psychologies of the population, but can you grow a truly great company?

If you don’t know the story of Cow Clicker, it’s worth a read. Social games are usually where creativity goes to die (dear lord: Draw Something?). But there must be opportunities for real, creative, innovation in games with the social graph…

Cow Clicker

Cow Clicker