无需赘述，相信多数游戏玩家都知道“Trip” Hawkins这个响亮的名字。然而从事30年的PC和视频游戏工作之后，这名A创始人、3DO掌机之父却创立了社交游戏公司Digital Chocolate，由此改写了他的游戏生涯。
Digital Chocolate原先是一家手机游戏开发公司，现在转向了Facebook等平台的社交游戏业务，并取得了一系列巨大的成就。该公司推出的《Millionaire City》、《MMA Pro Fighter》和《NanoStar Castles》等游戏在不到一年的时间中，已聚集了2000万以上的月活跃用户。Hawkins在最近媒体采访中表示他认为社交游戏、虚拟商品将成为互动娱乐行业的未来，以下是游戏邦编译的相关访谈内容：
在我早期的职业生涯中，我开发社交或休闲游戏的努力不是失败就是受到批评（比如《M.U.L.E.》、《Twisted》和《Army Men》就是这种典型），因为我的行动太超前了。EA Sports的品牌很成功，新社交游戏《Millionaire City》也同样如此。
Trip Hawkins: Theres an App for That Game
William M. “Trip” Hawkins III — founder of Electronic Arts and father of the 3DO console — needs no introduction to serious gamers. But three decades after writing the blueprint for the PC and video game business, his latest creation — social games start-up Digital Chocolate — is rewriting the rules again.
Originally a developer of games for mobile phones, the company has shifted its focus to Facebook and other social networks to tremendous success. It’s garnered more than 20 million monthly users within a year with hits like Millionaire City , MMA Pro Fighter and NanoStar Castles . Here, Hawkins explains why he believes social gaming and virtual goods are the future of interactive entertainment.
Scott Steinberg: Why are social games exploding in popularity?
Trip Hawkins: People today are oversaturated with amusement options and feel too “checked out.” They’re seeking social media that provides new ways to “check in” with real people. They’re also shifting to platforms that are simpler and more convenient, like mobile devices, the Web and Facebook.
S.S.: Are they the future of PC gaming?
T.H.: No, they’re the present. Asia is mostly playing MMO games on PCs. The biggest Western game is World of Warcraft. Then we have huge audiences playing both Web and Facebook games. They’re all social experiences.
S.S.: How big do you see the multibillion-dollar field getting?
T.H.: Bigger — much bigger. Today’s platforms and games are cheaper and easier to use, and younger audiences are all growing up playing, so gradually the entire world is turning into an audience for games.
S.S.: Could you ever have imagined gaming going in this direction?
T.H.: Yes. For decades, I’ve cared a great deal about both social play and the concept of virtual goods. I grew up playing Strat-O-Matic sports board games and Dungeons & Dragons, which were the first forms of virtual goods. My life mission was to get more people to play, but it was clear that those titles were too complicated and that a mass market would only be reached with simpler games.
Earlier in my career, my efforts to make social or casual games often failed or were criticized because I was too far ahead of the market. Examples would include M.U.L.E., Twisted and Army Men. The EA Sports brand was a big success, however, as is new social game Millionaire City.
S.S: How do these titles differ from traditional offerings?
T.H.: Via Web distribution, convenience and social context, and by addressing both new gamers and traditional players alike. Many of the big spenders on virtual goods for Facebook or the iPhone used to spend that money on console games. But maybe they’re adults now and don’t have as much time, or their friends are located out of town, and they have a smartphone and a Facebook account in addition to a console.
S.S: You’ve said the old gaming business model was “broken.” In what way do social games fix it?
T.H.: They shift away from the prohibitive up-front costs and risks of high-priced packaged goods and go to the free-to-play model, where everyone can play and pay whatever they like. It’s software as a service. But most importantly, the new games offer social value and tremendous convenience.
S.S.: When people say, “PC gaming is dead,” what are they missing?
T.H.: The PC is more alive than ever, and its core elements are expanding into new formats, including tablets, TV screens and even through such ideas as virtualization. What are in jeopardy are PC games that you buy at a store or have to download, install and remember where you filed them.（source:consumerelectronicsnet）