[Discussion, Roadmap] Did Zynga change SGG roadmap for Empires? or Delay roadmap

[Discussion, Roadmap] Did Zynga change SGG roadmap for Empires? or Delay roadmap


In other discussions, people have pointed out SGG has years left on the Zynga buy out.

So current roadmap is Zynga’s fault.

I believe current roadmap is 100% SGG.

But the roadmap was adjusted due to all the factors below.

The old roadmap could not assume the below events, so SGG likely had a primary roadmap and nodes for each change below. Both a failure and a success path.


SGG did not need any money, it was profitable immediately.

SGG took investors money to become the most famous gacha, troop match 3 game.

First to market does not guarantee someone will not replace you.

Once SGG secured the investment, this node of the roadmap was marked success. The failure branch of the roadmap was deleted.

Venture capitalists

All the Venture capitalists left after the Zynga buyout, but none of the other initial investors.

This was the Venture capitalists roadmap the whole time.


SGG did not need Zynga.

SGG took the Zynga buyout for Zynga’s experience in localizations.

Especially Zynga’s experience in localization in the asian marketplace. Which is a huge market SGG wanted to quickly move into before a competitor, or local company, could become the most famous gacha, troop match 3 game in the asian marketplace.

Once SGG secured the buyout, this node of the roadmap was marked success. The failure branch of the roadmap was deleted.


As part of the buyout, SGG would teach Zynga how to use SGG’s proprietary analytics and management style so Zynga could use both on other projects, especially in the asian marketplace.

SGG probably pitched this as part of the buyout. Look what you can help us with in return for your help.

SPECULATION - Delay roadmap

Click for roadmap speculation


Viewing Costume chamber, Tavern of legends, Hero Academy and “Improved” Alchemy lab through the above roadmap suggests a pattern.

Delay roadmap.

Wait until the last asian market localization are finished and 1+ years mature.

Then introduce shards, trade, or both.

The main benefits are as follows:

Delay requires less development cycles. This frees up more development cycles for training Zynga.

Shards, or trade, require large amount of development cycles. Empires may fail, or another Zynga project may become a viral hit, before shards, or trade, was ready for the live server.

Everyone copies. There are a number of suggestions from this forum being added to Combat Puzzles by SGG, or X & puzzles by competitors. By using delay until the asian marketplace is secured, this prevents a competitor, from copying SGG’s shard, or trade, implementation.

Even if Elder players leave, the influx of asian marketplace cash flow can secure the original severs. Less active servers will also reduce the overhead. When shards, or trade, are eventually implemented, a new wave of advertising can lure back Elder players.


See also

([History] Small Giant games- Empires and Puzzles)

(Zynga buying 80% of SGG - STAFF RESPONSE POST 27 & 111)

(Zynga buying 80% of SGG - STAFF RESPONSE POST 27 & 111)

(Zynga pays small giant a fortune)

([Community Content] All spies please raise your hands)

([Discussion, Rant?] The lack of Quality of life improvements in 3 years shows Devs do not care about F2P / C2P or multiple Classic heroes or trade but they care only about the latest shiny hero)


This is deep and I’m too many beers in to make sense of it…I’ll revisit in the morning but I do like a nice deep dive.


I am a little confused … but I think what you’re saying is you’re okay with the Telluria nerf?


Wow. Well that changes my thinking. Fascinating stuff here. A great deal to digest.

Thank you for posting this. Real provocative. Bravo @Gryphonknight

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You get an A in your business essay. :chart_with_upwards_trend:


Not looking for an argument so please don’t take it that way but can you tell us where you got your information regarding SGG’s and Zynga’s reasoning with respect to the buyout?

This part reads to me as a known fact that would seem privy to two organizations.



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Most of it is publicly available on the internet.

They are not hiding anything.

There are a lot of good articles, interviews and journalism because everyone loves a “small company makes good story”

“All overnight successes take about 10 years”- various versions from various sources


Click for 3 examples, including a good math article


The most impressive part of SGG crew.

If you are a math nerd, worth a full read.



This part is murky.

While the news releases for the Venture capitalists imply a full cash out, this appears to be marketing speak.

Since the SGG buyout was cash and Zynga stock, the Venture capitalists appear to have been stuck with some Zynga stock.

Reading the vague statements, it is possible Zynga required an X% of SGG and SGG, initial SGG investors and the Venture capitalists had to come up with X% between them. Those would have been interesting negotiation transcripts to skim.

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Are you planning on updating the forum readers on any further developments? It’s really interesting how the Zynga buyout plays into the long waits for events or advanced buildings and I’m more than sure that there are more people that would like to know what are the connotations to some of SGG’s decisions. Some of us presumably don’t really know where to look for that kind of information as well.

Thanks @Gryphonknight I find it interesting to see that 20% of the deal is tied to performance metrics over three years, presumably 2019, 2020, and 2021. Certainly that supports the push for all of the new content we’ve been seeing. But I also found it interesting that in the interview link you posted, Timo commented that the player progression was easily manipulated since everything is a parameter and easily altered.

I could make all sort of guesses and accusations but with this and other things that I’ve learned of late, I’ll just kick back and relax, keep my card in my wallet, and play only those portions of the game that I enjoy.

Keep the info coming if you don’t mind. It really is nice to read some of the background.


Still super deep but what a lot of people seem to think is that Zynga bought this to flog it into the ground and extract as much blood as possible and turn it off.

But that sounds entirely counterproductive to me.

Empires and Puzzles caught there eye as it was a game that continue to attract monthly revenue. You don’t kill the golden goose but maybe there is a some fine tuning from them in regards to how much they can turn the tap but I honestly can’t see this was a cash and burn.

So IMHo there is life in this game and I think they will get the balance again.

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Definitely turned my thinking around. If you find anything else @Gryphonknight, please do share.

And thank you for all this. Certainly helps to know more of what is under the hood here. Hopefully people will make better-informed decisions as a result.


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Certainly not me but I do wonder about those metrics that SG needs to meet in order to secure the last portions of the buyout. We will never know what they are but my guess is that it has little to do with player retention. Perhaps more aligned with content growth and completion of open projects.

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What I find interesting from all the public interviews SGG CEO Tim is more likely to pull the plug on Empires than Zynga CEO Frank.

Frank is all about new content for Zynga. Frank appears to be using Empires to strengthen existing, and future, Zynga products.

Tim is all about the hard numbers. If you can generate the right numbers, every $1 in marketing generates $1.2+ in revenue.

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Who actually owns the interletrical property of the game? As stated other games are available made by sgg. That there vision on things they want in the future but e&p is more handcuffed now due to a partnership?

Super interesting post! It changes the “story” that I had in my head of the altruistic ’little guy’ that lucked out with a ‘corporate machine’ deal.

Most interesting, but unfortunately mildly distressing, to me is this:

That speaks volumes to me about the perception that has been created that the SG business model is based on greed. I’m not saying that he has an individual is greedy. But having worked with businesspeople who are “all about the numbers”… it was like everything clicked into focus.

I guess the one thing that I’d hope he’s insightful to is that even if he decided to pull the plug and move on to the next project, how he treats the E&P player base will follow SG. For example, if I decide to pull the plug on my account due to dissatisfaction, it wouldn’t be to move to the next SG developed game. In fact I would be highly unlikely to give a future project a fair chance. Brand loyalty is a real and impactful thing… but like everything in life there is an inverse phenomenon.

I sincerely hope that they are planning for E&P to have a long and successful run, and that they are quietly strategizing on how to restore goodwill. :crossed_fingers:t3:


In a way, I often feel acquisition brings changes in perspective of things in most organizations, but then it is now more obvious in the transition from casual game perspective to deeper core and of course the strong emphasis on monetization…

Thank you for this insight @Gryphonknight.

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It’s a nice thought, but I don’t think SG ever started out as an “altruistic little guy”. Little guy, yes. Altruistic?

Don’t see anything in there at all that even remotely resembles altruism.


20 characters of “touché”


nobody is pulling any plugs @CmdCupcake , this game has years of service left in it.

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