Happy Farm Dev: Social Vs. Traditional Game Debate ‘Even Worse’ In China
The ethical debate involving microtransactions-based social network games versus more traditional gaming platforms isn’t exclusive to the Western game industry.
Season Xu, COO of China-based Happy Farm social game developer Five Minutes, told Gamasutra in a new feature interview that the debate between developers over the topic is “even worse” in China.
As in the West, Chinese developers are arguing about whether certain social games are about providing players happiness through gameplay, or are rather just psychological manipulators whose primary goal is to extract as much money from users as possible.
“I really think, either way, you have to create happiness first,” said Xu. “Either way. Because however good you are … at manipulation, you still have to create happiness first, otherwise people will not get attracted [to the game].”
But in order to create a successful social game, developers still have to be business-minded, and create their games so people will keep coming back, and keep spending money. And that does involve some psychological manipulation.
“If there is a yin there is always a yang, right?” said Xu. “If there is a positive there is always a negative. So, meaning, you cannot overly depend on either side. … There’s always the bad side and the good side of it, so I think you have to very smoothly conquer every different skill in order to win in the long run.”
For more from Five Minutes on social gaming and balancing the yin and the yang, read Gamasutra’s in-depth feature interview, available now.（Source：Gamasutra）