Zynga unveils Battlestone, an action RPG coming to iOS soon
Zynga's been on an interesting pivot lately. The company made a name for itself on Facebook, and most of its business is tied up in big games like Farmville and its sequel. But that audience is slowing down in growth, if not declining, which has prompted Zynga to experiment on mobile platforms like iOS. Last year, Zynga published Horn, which is a very impressive action / adventure title on iOS, and this year I expect to see more games like it as Zynga targets the "midcore" audience with nice graphics and complex gameplay.
Battlestone is a great example of that. It's a newly revealed game from the House that Farmville Built, and as you can see above, it looks very impressive. It's an action RPG in the vein of Diablo, but made for mobile platforms, and with a slightly more casual look. Battlestone will let you pull one hero from multiple choices to fight through varied 3D environments, swiping and tapping across the screen to get involved in combat.
It definitely sounds fun -- Battlestone should be available in the US soon, as it's already being tested in a few markets around the world. Zynga's real challenge with these will be to balance "midcore" gameplay with its preferred freemium promotional practices. The company grew very quickly thanks to its "social" gameplay, but as it has grown bigger and bigger, Zynga's depended more and more on desperately trying to make its games viral. If they can tone that down in these more complicated titles in a way that still allows them to keep things profitable, the company will be able to find a whole new audience to replace the one that's getting more and more bored with all of the "cow clicking" that Zynga originally started out with.
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