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

Since it is a cash and stock deal, that would require actual details of the deal.

Is it AOL buying Time Warner? Or Comcast buying NBC?

But realistically, Zynga/ SGG are one entity for IP purposes.



21 May 2020

Source (pocketgamer.biz)




Hey Gryphonknight thanks for that, is the gist of what you are saying is that the delays to everything are because they a) want to give themselves less work to do and b) are waiting for their entry into the Asian market?

Can ask other, So, when the Empires & Puzzles game be released to the public ? Is it 2013 ?

I wonder about this delay, or if it has passed - about half of our wars have been vs. Asian teams for the last month or so. Used to see lots of Cyrillic writing, now it’s lots of Japanese & Korean.


Probably a combination of both.

But also possible they are just not deploying the code.

Leaked Beta Hero Academy v0.0 in Beta is very similar to released version of Beta Hero Academy v4.0 and very similar to AMA Hero Academy version.

QoL programming code is already being used in predominantly English based Puzzle Combat.

Asia shift

But this is an interesting bit of speculation:


Click for 2020 speculation

But in reality could be as simple as Real Life interfering with a very small design team.

Author John Scalzi has missed a few self imposed deadlines because of the dumpster fire the year 2020 has been.

Unlike installing the same standard door for the 10,000 time at the car factory, much of programming, and game design, is unique and creative. Even localization can be very difficult to standardize.

Big game companies have a large amount of stake holders that would be unhappy if Dev Tim posted “2020 sucks so the team is spending more time, and creative energy, solving real world problems like work at home and groceries for elderly relatives. So some of the schedule has been pushed back and some reprioritization happened.”

Trials and Tribulations

This is also not mutually exclusive, it could be a combination of Asian markets, not deploying, competitors, 2020, Telluria/ Vela, unexpected Buy out problems, etc.



Post Buyout

Does SGG post buyout have to be so jaded?


Interesting Niantic was created by the core team that created Keyhole ( bought out by Google and turned into Google Maps ).

Without their passion project failing, Niantic’s core team is more optimistic. Leading to creative test platform Ingress - now Ingress Prime.

Which spawned Pokémon GO, then Harry Potter Wizards Unite, now planning 2x new games per year for next 5 years ( see notes ).


SGG poured their heart into Oddwings, and was badly burned.

They are creating updates -

Costume chamber

Tavern of legends summons

Alchemy lab

Hero academy -

That take the jaded approach, users do not need/ deserve balanced updates. To stay in this cutthroat, fadish business you need to prioritize making money.


It also could be the buyout company.

Google is not your friend - no company with that market share is your friend. see European Union history with Google - but the motto “Do not be evil” at least gives them a guiding principle.


Zynga is problematic.

Zynga has a history of some very shady business practices.


I still hope SGG will become more Google/ Niantic than past Zynga.

But SGG may have decided to learn a more Farmville business oriented direction from Zynga instead of teaching Zynga a more Oddwings / Empires directed business.


Click for notes




Niantic moving forward

Don’t be evil



Niantic giving back



Damn, so I did remember zynga correctly. Back in the late Cretaceous I recall reading stories about Zynga’s “business practices” and how money hungry they were, often reworking other games and then flooding the markets with their ripped off versions. Wonder how much they are tying SG’s hands with all the “new” content.

None of this bodes well.

Thank you @Gryphonknight for all this. Such a fascinating study.

1 Like

Found this too:

The Finnish startup raised its VC round in 2018 in part to take some of the pressure to sell off the founders. That allowed some insiders to sell some stock and weigh their options. From the Zynga side, Bromberg said the courtship lasted 18 months, and began as broader, introductory conversations to get to know people on both sides.

He was also aware that there was big interest in competitors who were making their own overtures.

In pursuing such a deal, Bromberg said players often get up in winning and closing a transaction, rather than thinking long term about the implications. And that’s a big reason most acquisitions eventually get labeled as failures.

“You want to win the right way and you want to win for the right reasons,” Bromberg said. “And that’s the mistake that a lot of companies make when they get into the game of the transaction and imagine that the transaction is the point of the whole thing. In fact, the point is the next three years, five years. It’s not getting to the finish line of the transaction.”

That impulse led ultimately to the structuring of the deal, with Zynga buying 80% and then the rest if Small Giant Games met certain benchmarks over the next three years. Both sides felt the deal reflected their belief in the other.

Full article;

And from marketwatch:

“ Jefferies analyst Alex Giamo, who has a buy rating and a $11 price target, said “Zynga’s infrastructure is built to optimize for return, and Peak’s impressive retention statistics should create healthy user acquisition leverage.”


  • Small Giant Games’ new Puzzle Combat is an iteration of its hit game, Empires & Puzzles. Empires & Puzzles estimated global net monthly sales is $19 million.

We reiterate the buy rating we gave Zynga (ZNGA) last April 26. Zynga is an attractive investment because video games are projectedto become a $300 billion industry by 2025. This prediction by GlobalData Thematic Research is a big leap from Newzoo’s 2019 estimate of $152.9 billion.

Full story: https://seekingalpha.com/amp/article/4292766-zynga-is-right-thing

One more how E&P has boosted Zynga’s monthly substantially:


Of course they did. Look how the game has changed since they bought it. It unequivocably sucks now, and everything they’ve done has made it worse.

Yet people are still shoveling them money for some reason.

I don’t think the game sucks now. Come at me bro! :rofl:

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Interesting that allegedly Zynga started by ripping off everyone ( common for many wealthy companies ) but was forced to buy Merge Dragons and Empires and Puzzles because they were both FUN and maximized micro transactions

Personally I think SGG, after being burned with Oddwing, is taking advantage of Zynga’s capital to faster implement its own maximum, efficient, micro transactions not Zynga forcing more micro transactions on SGG


Do not click, soooooooo ranty


Sometimes I catch myself wanting to compare pre Empire and Puzzles SGG with other specialty group casino owners - trying to earn back years of poverty by using Merciless RNG - until I look into all the help SGG got when starting up. It was a hail mary. But it was not their first, and only, chance to avoid starvation, nakedness, homeless, and poverty

Still, it is almost impossible to ethically mix micro transactions and Merciless RNG

Companies are trying to find alternatives

Gacha and FOMO

From another discussion

Zynga Buyout

The information about Niantic is outdated

Both egg mechanic and legendary pokémon mechanics are Merciless RNG, FOMO, loot box micro transactions

Click for Rant McRantFace




In my opinion, it was never intended to be F2P

Things just kept happening for Pay 2 Play mechanics as non farmable ascension items were tweaked ( see notes )


Click for notes

First 5* rainbow team

I cannot find the forum post from the original player, but

Before challenge events were added, allegedly no player had a 5* rainbow team, Classic or limited availability

They lacked enough 4* ascension items in all 5 colors ( Merciless RNG is merciless )

4* Ascension items & 4* heroes

Quest adjustment

When 5* HotM added, rare quests buffed

Challenge event

When 5* limited availability challenge event heroes added, limited non farmable ascension items were also added

Tier completion rewards never included 4* ascension items, only 3* ascension items

But a limited number of top scores could win 4* ascension items

Seasonal event

When 5* limited availability seasonal event heroes added, only 1x or 2x 4* ascension item possible from rewards

But calendar let you buy multiple 4* ascension items

Non farmable ascension items

Note to @Gryphonknight: Using to double check typical sources of non farmable ascension items

(List of methods for acquiring unfarmable ascension materials via playing / Where to earn nonfarmable ascension materials through gameplay)



F2P don’t pay the bills so, no it wasn’t. Spenders even from the beginning got a big advantage in time accelleration.

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Alliance event and Merciless RNG

SGG has repeatedly said Merciless RNG is the core business/ gaming concept

Just like tournament loot, I expect SLIGHT adjustments to the Alliance event loot but not an overhaul

Click for loot rant

Minimum Investment

Rumor says in Beta, several testers suggested keeping an entry fee ( example 350 gems for 5* tournaments ) but giving a guaranteed loot ( example 1x Epic Summon token. Which in hindsight is STILL Merciless RNG )

Instead of a guaranteed 1x Epic Summon token ( still Merciless RNG but at least a +1 Seasonal event summons ), SGG removed the original 100 gem entrance fee and added limits to the number of failed attacks ( too cheap to give all players an equal number of tries per day is a different human factors rant )

Company Town

Unlike physical games ( looking at you table top RPG s / board games ) that can have third party resales and third party original products

Freemium games are effectively Company Towns^1

SGG has decided to not pay users in company script to spend in the company store but instead SGG pays users in company LOTTERY TICKETS that reward company script. So your daily earnings will fluctuate

Your fluctuating, daily pay in company script can often be used to buy different company lottery tickets with a chance of more company script or company merchandise instead of buying the company merchandise directly ( looking at you costumes for past 5* HotM )

Wallet, Feet and Mouth

I typically vote with my wallet, my feet and my mouth

Unfortunately I have stopped spending, I have been posting less on this forum, I have stopped logging into my game daily and most of my friends and family have switched to non freemium games ( the freemium business model is usually less than consumer friendly )


Click for notes

Loot Drops versus Return On Investment



Leaked Art

The Aether quest art was leaked to the forum prior to 2019-Mar-31 ( it was very distinctive )

Just about the time Classes were tested in Beta

So SGG appears to have started planning Aethers just as it had a working beta version of Emblems


Do not click^1



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