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Zynga shuts down mobile Mafia Wars after three months

Zynga shuts down mobile Mafia Wars after three months

Zynga will no longer continue development on its soft-launched 4X game Mafia Wars.

Available from the App Stores in Canada, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan in April, the titlewas a reimagining of an early Zynga mobile hit updated with new mechanics and monetisation.

During its soft launch, it ranked highest in Indonesia peaking 42nd, hitting 212nd in Canada, 480th in the Philippines, and 1,208th in Taiwan.

Forever franchises

“As a team, we’re being deliberate about our new starts and going after the categories where we believe we can win," read a statement from Zynga.

“We have a high bar for our new releases and didn’t believe the game had the potential to be a successful forever franchise for us.”

The term ‘forever franchise’ is one that CEO Frank Gibeau has adopted to focus the company on games - or “enduring entertainment brands” - such as Zynga Poker and Words With Friends that will be long-term successes.

Those titles will celebrate their 10 and 8-year anniversaries respectively in 2017.

Continuing trend?

Mafia Wars isn’t the only high profile soft-launched 4X mobile game to be canned recently.

Last month, Scopely announced its game Breaking Bad: Empire Business would be shuttered after 19 months in testing.

Both decisions make sense given the incredibly competitive nature of the 4X genre, which is dominated by the high-spending MZ.

It’s just launched its Square-Enix co-developed Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire and the game is already a top 50 top grossing title in most key markets.


Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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