For the past few months, the Mafia Wars Team has been in a state of transition. The Mafia Wars Studio has moved from San Francisco, CA to Bangalore, India. The Zynga Studio-I was launched about a year ago and now is the home of the Mafia Wars Studio . During the transition period, we haven’t had much communication with Zynga but that’s about to change!
The new leaders and managers may be new to Mafia Wars but they aren’t new to Zynga. Many have been with the company for sometime. The good news for us is that they are Mafia Wars players and recognize the need for change. Feedback from the community will now play a more important role when decisions are made. Change doesn't happen overnight and there must be balance between what the players want and the business model of the game. Rather than dismiss this as another empty promise from Zynga, we should embrace it as hope. Many fear Mafia Wars will shut down and this is a positive sign of longevity. With the monthly active users falling below the 2 million mark, a new and enthusiastic team ready to address hard issues, communicate with the community and listen to the player base is exactly what Mafia Wars needs.
(image courtesy of AppData)
The formulation of the next Player Advisory Committee shows that they are serious about listening to the players . Many want to know who the members of the new PAC are. That shouldn’t matter as players are going to be rotated and representatives for different types of players will participate. What does matter is that Zynga is communicating with us once again. The PAC members are not an extension of Customer Support and are more of a sounding board for the Mafia Wars Team. They won't dictate decisions and only provide feedback. Feedback from larger groups will also play an important role in the decisions that are made. Being on the PAC is voluntary is there are no special privileges. For those who would like to be on the PAC in the future, stay active in the community and provide feedback on Zynga and third party sites. I don't know their criteria for selection but they probably need to know who you are. There are many positive changes to come and hopefully players will give the new Mafia Wars Team and the PAC a chance.
The new Mafia Wars Team is well aware that players don’t like the Limited Time Upgrade Properties in New York. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure that one out. While the Mafia Wars Team plans on communicating and interacting with players, they can’t give us everything we want. Each game studio at Zynga has to meet the goals and objectives set forth by upper management. Their task at hand is to do this while keeping the game fun for players. The PAC and other player groups don't get to interact with Zynga upper management, they only provide feedback to the Mafia Wars Team. If something can't be changed, there is a reason and this should not be viewed as a flaw in the feedback system. The example of the property issue is just a guess on my part and I have no inside information on whether or not this is the reason that these properties continue to be released. It's only to demonstrate that not everything the players ask for will become realty.
After all, the buck stops here and there is only so much that can be done to make everybody happy. As long as development of Mafia Wars continues and people play the game, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.