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Draw Something Evil

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Draw Something Evil

April 6th, 2012

If you visited the website Sunday through Thursday night you may have noticed the website looked a little different. If you were a first time visitor you may have decided Nerd Rage was terrible and will never come back. Oops. If, somehow, you are a bigger fan of Elliott's 'Gaming Buddiez', you can still view it over here.

There's been some recent drama between Draw Something developer OMGPOP and the developer Zynga. Zynga is most notable for Farmville, Words with Friends, Hanging with Friends, Mafia Wars, and a a lot of Facebook games that are derivative of other existing Facebook games.

Just 7 weeks after Draw Something's release, Zynga bought the company for $210 million.

Controversy arose when Shay Pierce, the single OMGPOP employee who did not sign on with Zynga, spoke up with Gamasutra. Pierce opted not to join over a conflict of interests. In his spare time he had developed a game called Connectrode and the Farmville developer could not guarantee they would not ask for its removal from the iOS App Store. While thinking the options over, he decided he and Zynga has different ideals. Pierce goes out of his way to make several points clear: for one, he never worked on Draw Something. Two, he was not bitter and three, he was fairly compensated. But he goes on to question whether or not Zynga is an 'evil' company. His assessment is that a company trying to make profit is not evil, but a company that a company that acts in short sighted and destructive ways is. And the latter is how he classifies Zynga.

"An evil company is trying to get rich quick, and has no regard for the harm they're doing along the way. It's not making things of value, it's chasing a gold rush. An evil game company isn't really interested in making games, it's too busy playing a game -- a game with the stock market, usually. It views players as weak-minded cash cows; and it views its developers as expendable, replaceable tools to create the machines that milk those cows. It follows unsustainable practices (like cloning or even completely screwing innovators; or abusing viral channels until they have to be curtailed) -- all practices which, in the long-term, not only make things worse for every other company in the industry, but ultimately for itself. Zynga is not the only one of these, but yes, they fit my definition."

Zynga is no stranger to thievery and game cloning. Earlier this year the three-man development team of Tiny Tower discussing how Zynga tried to buy them out. When the offer failed they simply made an identical game. In 2009 the developers of Mob Wars sued Zynga for creating Mafia Wars. Perhaps the most interesting, though, is SocialApp's MyFarm; Zynga opened negotiations to buy the rights to the game. Zynga got far enough that they were allowed to see the source code, then went quiet. A month later Farmville came out.

Dramatic, right? Well, this is just the precursor the aforementioned drama.

"The one omgpop employee who turned down joining Zynga was the weakest one on the whole team. Selfish people make bad games. Good riddance. What’s so interesting about success is the number of failures who try to ride on your back. Shay Pierce is just one of many…" tweeted Dan Porter, CEO of OMGPOP in response to Shay's reasoning. Porter pulled the comment after enormous internet backlash (included Minecraft's Notch bluntly calling him an insane idiot). He then issued an apology.

You saw Nerd Rage's April Fool's joke. But did you see what else the internet had to offer?

ThinkGeek offered up a number of fake products, from marshmallow Minecraft/Easter confectionery 'Creeps' to an iPad version of Hungry Hungry Hippos. Voting is open to make one of their lovely fictional products into a lovely nonfictional product.

Google showed off an 8-bit Google Maps for the Famicom.

Notch announced 'new' game Mars Effect...which, outside of the name, is now real.

Sega released a trailer for Sega Bass Fishing of the Dead.

Blizzard served up StarCraft: Supply Depot 2, Neural Interface, Zergotchi Authenticator, and Blizzard Kidzz.

Ubisoft produced this trailer for a Kinect-enabled Assassin's Creed.

Rock of Ages replaced the rock with...well, something different.

IGN and Harry Partridge released this trailer for a Mass Effect cartoon.

Rise of Immortals announced new Immortal 'Karapyss the Crabomancer', a nod to Penny Arcade's jab at their characters.

Perhaps best of all, though, was Adult Swim's prank. They opened with Tommy Wisseau's 'The Room', then cut into classic Cartoon Network block Toonami. The night's block was made up of old Toonami shows (or 'classic' CN anime, as Astro Boy, Gigantor, and Trigun never aired on Toonami), padded with old Toonami commercials and bumpers. They even got Steve Blum back to play T.O.M (and reviewed Mass Effect 3).

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