'Mafia Wars' CEO Brags About Scamming Users from Day One

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Infosec Island Admin


I've never played Mafia Wars myself, but it's a very popular Facebook game that many of my friends play and annoy me with the constant broadcast news feed messages. It's one of the more popular Facebook applications and -like most of them- poses a real risk to the players and players' friends within the Facebook community. 

Recently (Spring 2009), Mafia Wars CEO, Mark Pincus, brags about how they deliberately set out to scam users from day one in an effort to create revenues for his company, Zynga. 

According to Pincus: "I knew that i wanted to control my destiny, so I knew I needed revenues, right, *****, now. Like I needed revenues now. So I funded the company myself but I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this zwinky toolbar which was like, I dont know, I downloaded it once and couldn't get rid of it. *laughs* We did anything possible just to just get revenues so that we could grow and be a real business. So control your destiny. So that was a big lesson, controlling your business. So by the time we raised money we were profitable."

This is just one example of -I'm sure- many similar business models in this new micro-application space. 

You can view the video of Mark Pincus here on Youtube. 


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