Zynga, the San Francisco-based online and mobile game developer best known for the FarmVille and CSR Racing series, has announced plans to dabble in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain-based games, among d further expansion plans in the Web3 space. The game developer’s plans for blockchain-based games come four months after the company hired its vice president of blockchain gaming Matt Wolf in November 2021. Zynga is also reportedly considering expanding its blockchain staff, currently at 15, to around 100 by the end of the year.
Speaking about the company’s NFT-based game plans with Axios, Matt Wolf said the blockchain-based games planned by Zynga will be completely new games because it “doesn’t make sense” to immediately start adding NFTs. to existing games like FarmVille.
He said players can expect the new games to resemble Mafia Wars, a now-discontinued social media game in which players took on the role of mobsters and worked to build their own crime families.
Wolf has made it clear that the company’s game developers will always have the ability to toggle all NFT planes on and off – a stance that’s likely a lesson from internal protests against the technology at other game companies – EA and Ubisoft.
That said, despite the criticism, Wolf sees NFT and blockchain technology as the obvious next step in Zynga’s evolution with tokenized systems creating new, more realistic forms of creating value, ownership, and wealth for gamers.
“By creating an integrated experience that puts gamers in their gaming journey, our goal is to expand Zynga’s audience reach and increase engagement and retention,” he said. added.
Looking at the broader picture of where tokenized systems are among gaming communities, Zynga seems to be taking a more aggressive step into the blockchain-based gaming space than many other gaming companies, as Cryptocurrency-related features have often drawn reactions from rabid gamers. Some gamers who have added NFTs to their gaming experience believe that companies are simply looking for new ways to extract money from their customers.