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Economic Symbiosis Between Facebook and Zynga

Economic Symbiosis Between Facebook and Zynga

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Published by Kalina Dancheva
An explorative research on the political economy of social games
An explorative research on the political economy of social games

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Kalina Dancheva on Jul 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/08/2013

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Economic symbiosis between
Facebook 
and
 Zynga
 
 An explorative research on the political economy of social games
By: Kalina Dancheva (3721329)Course: Game studiesProgramme: New Media and Digital CultureTeacher: Dr. David NieborgDate: 8 July 2011University of Utrecht 
 
1
 Abstract 
In the recent years social networks have given a rise to the game genre of social games,which currently enjoys an exponential growth among millions of users. In 2010
Facebook 
and the largest social game producer
 Zynga
were on the edge of a potentialsplit in their relations. The situation was overcome, but it marked a crucial moment inthe policy of the social network towards social game producers and third parties. Thispaper explores the political economy between
Facebook 
and
 Zynga
by drawing anetwork of relations using the method of Actor-Network Theory. Social games will beexamined from the perceptive of two-sided platforms that have matured into apotential competitor of the hosting platform of 
Facebook 
. By following the trail of themoney in this network, the article will analyse the economic logic that underpins thedecision of 
Facebook 
and
 Zynga
to prolong their partnership. The paper argues that currently, there is an emerging new type of relation between the social network and thesocial games which is regulated by a specific
business model.
This tie creates aneconomic symbiosis, designed to benefit primary the social network but it also has aneconomic value to the social games developers as well as to other third parties. Basedon this research, the article will suggest a model that illustrates this market logic whichcan be a valuable source in the future analysis of the economy of social games.
Key words
:
 Zynga
,
Facebook 
, social games, Actor-Network Theory, political economy,economic symbiosis.
 
2
Table of contents
1.
 
Introduction 32.
 
CityVille
presenting the case study 43.
 
Method of research 44.
 
The two-sided service platform model 55.
 
CityVille
as part of the monetary model of 
 Zynga
66.
 
Facebook’s
interest in
CityVille
87.
 
The
Facebook 
ecosystem 98.
 
Conclusion 109.
 
References 1210.
 
 Appendices 15

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