Interview

Zynga's Adam Sussman on why it's publishing $6.99 console-quality core game Horn

Zynga's Adam Sussman on why it's publishing $6.99 console-quality core game Horn
Zynga's known as the free-to-play Facebook game company that went big, but on mobile its business model has always been more nuanced.

That situation's being further blurred as it gets into third party publishing.

One interesting case is Phosphor Games' Unreal-engined adventure actioneer Horn, which will be one of the first games released via the Zynga Partners for Mobile program.

Coming first to Android and then iOS, its launch price is $6.99.

We asked Zynga's head of mobile publishing Adam Sussman about the situation.

Pocket Gamer: Horn isn't a typical Zynga game so why did you decide to publish it?

Adam Sussman: Zynga strives to expand its portfolio to include more categories of games that our players want. Horn is an amazing console-quality title for mobile devices, and quality, polish and fun are the most important criteria our players are looking for.

Helping developers get their games discovered, and helping our players find these games is why we entered third party publishing.

We've been hearing a lot about Zynga moving mid-core etc. Should we expect more of these publishing deals?

We don't have anything specific to share at this time, but what we can say is that we are expanding our portfolio and entering new genres based on player feedback.

We want to be in genres that we know our players are interested in, and are open to exploring high quality games in all categories. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.

Do you think the free-to-play model is restrictive in terms of attracting the core gaming audience?

Zynga believes free-to-play is the future of social games and will continue to primarily use this model for its own first party games.

We are partnering with a number of third party developers across several different genres, including those that produce games for the core gaming audience, and are working together to determine the best approach for each game and audience based on the value we are delivering to our players.

We believe the amazing quality of Horn is going to attract a core gaming audience and beyond.

Is your publishing approach about a slate of products or are you more interested in products that you can extend with sequels and other licensing/merchandising?

Our goal is to provide fun, high quality games for our players in the categories that they want to be in. By launching Zynga Partners for Mobile, we are striving to partner with interesting, talented game developers, which will help us to expand our portfolio while giving them ccess to one of the world's largest network of engaged players.

Whether or not they extend with sequels or merchandising is something we are willing to explore.

Thanks to Adam for his time.


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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