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Social gaming will "crash very hard" - Dyack

"I don't think there's an economy there," claims Silicon Knights boss

Current social gaming trends are adversely affecting the traditional games market but will in time see a rapid contraction, according to comments from Silicon Knights founder Denis Dyack.

"It is damaging traditional gaming for sure but... how it's going to work out is anyone's guess," he said to IndustryGamers.

"The trend that I see is it's probably going to be one of the biggest bubbles and explosions that our industry's seen in a long time and I think when it crashes it's going to crash very hard. I don't think there's an economy there."

Asked whether this includes Zynga, which is currently valued at as much as $10 billion, Dyack answered:

"I don't know about Zynga – I think that's a big micro, but I think that the amount of venture that's being poured in, in general, that's most of the video game industry investment. As far as I know right now, it's going into pure social gaming. It looks like marketing to me. It doesn't look like real gaming. And maybe it'll change, I don't know. It looks very, very dangerous.

"I think Zynga's valuated more than some traditional publishers right now that have been in the industry for decades. I'm sorry, but I just don't see it. It seems imaginary to me... it doesn't look long term healthy to me," he added.

Presented with the example of Activision, Dyack argued that many traditional publishers are sensibly reticent to become involved in the social and mobile markets.

"I think there are a lot of publishers out there that don't agree with it and they just haven't spoken about it. I don't see Nintendo going into that space, as an example. There are a lot of publishers that I don't see going into that space. And, you know, EA is one of the few that's [embraced social]," he said.

"I tried playing FarmVille, I really did, but it's not my cup of tea. And I'm not saying that FarmVille's a bad game but as a gamer who's played games all my life, I know what kinds of games I want to play. I play games every day and I'm always trying new stuff," added Dyack.

"Our golden rule is we make games that we want to play ourselves and I just look at those [social] games and those are just games I don't want to play for whatever reason. I just think that they're not a good use of my time versus quality."

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David Jenkins

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