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News, The Snitch Is Zynga's 'Evil' Corporate Culture Now a Business Liability?

Is Zynga's 'Evil' Corporate Culture Now a Business Liability?

In a business sector known for cutthroat, amoral maneuvering, social-game developer Zynga stands out as, well, particularly cutthroat and amoral. At least that's the view of many of its competitors and former employees, some of whom we interviewed for a…
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News, The Snitch Zynga Pressures Employees to Give Back Stock Ahead of IPO

Zynga Pressures Employees to Give Back Stock Ahead of IPO

Social-gaming company Zynga, along with a handful of other large tech businesses, was successful earlier this year in getting the city of San Francisco to forgo its share of tax revenue on the firm's stock options. Now it appears that…
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News, The Snitch Zynga, Vostu, SocialApps: Are Legal Squabbles Signs of the Social Gaming Apocalypse?

Zynga, Vostu, SocialApps: Are Legal Squabbles Signs of the Social Gaming Apocalypse?

Zynga has always been the target of various allegations of pirating other companies' ideas, but in the last week, tech-world buzz on the twin topics of Zynga and copyright infringement has risen to a deafening level. Last Thursday, Zynga filed…
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News, The Snitch Zynga Has a Hit with Empires and Allies

Zynga Has a Hit with Empires and Allies

Zynga's latest Facebook game, Empires and Allies, is being closely watched. Tech-industry observers see the combat and city-building game as a gambit by the successful social-game developer to expand its offerings beyond the breathtakingly inane set of "'Ville"-style games --…
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News, The Snitch Empires and Allies, New Zynga Game, Launches Today

Empires and Allies, New Zynga Game, Launches Today

Zynga is launching its new online game today on Facebook, and it promises to have, well, a little more game. What that means is you can expect Empires and Allies to involve combat, which is straying from Zynga's typical nonviolent…
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Music, All Shook Down Lady Gaga Continues War Against Boring, Puts Fear Of Christ Into "American Idol" Contestants

Lady Gaga Continues War Against Boring, Puts Fear Of Christ Into "American Idol" Contestants

This week, Lady Gaga proved she could take any old rotten lemons thrown at her and make delicious lemonade out of them, by appearing on American Idol as a guest mentor. Which, frankly, we thought was a tad beneath her.…
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Music, All Shook Down Lady Gaga to Stream Songs on Her Own Version of FarmVille: Dear God Please No

Lady Gaga to Stream Songs on Her Own Version of FarmVille: Dear God Please No

Stefani Germanotta just killed us a little. Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga, plans to release streams of songs off her new album, Born This Way, via a new online game, GagaVille, made by S.F. firm Zynga, of FarmVille fame. You…
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News, The Snitch Angry Birds -- Why are We Addicted?

Angry Birds -- Why are We Addicted?

One projects a cartoonish bird into a rickety castle in order to destroy villainous green pigs. Somehow, that synopsis survived a pitch meeting -- and any subsequent analysis -- to become Angry Birds. And if you haven't heard of Angry…
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News, The Snitch Zynga Scams Lawsuit to Move Forward

Zynga Scams Lawsuit to Move Forward

A federal judge has found that Zynga could be responsible for allegedly misleading business offers marketed to players of its popular Facebook games, setting the stage for a class-action lawsuit against the San Francisco-based company to move ahead.The plaintiff in…
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News, The Snitch Zynga Faces Class-Action Lawsuit over Alleged Privacy Breach

Zynga Faces Class-Action Lawsuit over Alleged Privacy Breach

No matter what they do, some companies seem chronically incapable of playing peacefully in the sandbox of American capitalism with others. San Francisco-based game developer Zynga -- the wildly successful firm behind such popular Facebook applications as FarmVille and Mafia Wars…
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News, The Snitch FrontierVille, Latest Zynga Release, Is Quickly Losing Users

FrontierVille, Latest Zynga Release, Is Quickly Losing Users

One of the issues raised in our September cover story on social-gaming company Zynga was the long-term viability of a business based on copying and aggressively marketing inane but addictive game concepts. The Facebook applications that are making Zynga around…
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News, Letters

SF Weekly Letters

Eucalyptus: Friend or Foe? The exotic weeds need to be cut: I get that the eucalyptus are pretty . But you just can't make an ecosystem something it's not. If they're exotics, then they'll do…
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News, The Snitch Zynga Offers Customers Who Waste Their Lives Playing Its Games Up to $24,000 Today

Zynga Offers Customers Who Waste Their Lives Playing Its Games Up to $24,000 Today

It ain't been a great week in the press for Zynga, the San Francisco-based creator of popular online games such as FarmVille. Last Wednesday we published a cover story in which ex-employees dished on Zynga's allegedly "evil" practice of copying…
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News, Feature FarmVillains

FarmVillains

One of the Internet's greatest success stories in 2010 can be found in a former potato chip factory on Vermont Street in Potrero Hill. This is the original office of Zynga, the S.F.-based creator of online "social" games — FarmVille,…
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News, The Snitch Former Zynga Employees Talk About Copying Games for Mark Pincus' 'Evil' Online Empire

Former Zynga Employees Talk About Copying Games for Mark Pincus' 'Evil' Online Empire

Zynga's cutthroat business practices have long been a subject of speculation in the social-gaming industry. The company behind such hit Facebook applications as FarmVille and Mafia Wars has, in the words of a recent trademark-infringement lawsuit, "garnered a reputation for…
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News, Sucka Free City

@sk Jamie Varon: I support gay marriage, just not on Facebook

Dear Jamie, Before I ask my question, let me preface it by saying this: I support gay marriage. I have lots of gay and lesbian friends. The problem, at least when it comes to Facebook, is that lots of my…
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