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FarmVille nabs inaugural social games award at GDC

by on April 12, 2010

Image A lot has happened in the first 8 1/2 months insce we launched FarmVille. More than 30 million users fertilize and grow crops every day, and yesterday FarmVille and social gaming scored a big win at the Game Developers Conference.

For the first time this year, the Game Developers Choice Awards honored the social and online gaming space. FarmVille won for best new social/online game. Dressed in a green FarmVille t-shirt and gray Zynga hoodie, FarmVille general manager Bill Mooney (left) accepted the award last night on behalf of his  team at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. 

Social gaming is just getting started, and there’s plenty of opportunities for developers to make their mark. Speaking to a crowd of 600 people, Bill encouraged independent game developers to develop and publish social games on platforms like Facebook. “One thing I want to say to people, especially indie developers, is that I was in triple-A games for eight years, and it’s really nice to be at a place where you can just get stuff out,” he said. Bill took some time from his busy schedule today to share his thoughts on FarmVille’s GDC award.

Q: Why do you think FarmVille won the GDC award?

Bill Mooney: Because 85 million players a month can’t be wrong.

Q: This is the first year the GDC had a social/online gaming category. Are you surprised by that?

BM: The game industry is a year late. They underestimated people’s hunger to play games with their friends. I think traditional gaming companies think social gaming is still a fad. We’re convinced that it’s here to stay. In fact, we know it is.

Q: In your award speech, you focused on independent developers. Is there still some hesitation among game developers to work in social gaming?

BM: I want indie developers to know that this is a good space to make games and get visibility. If you develop a great game, people will find it and play it. You don’t have to wait years and years to make it happen. People loved FarmVille and were playing it before we spent any money on advertising.

Q: What’s next up for FarmVille farmers?

BM: We’re going to introduce pets that can do tricks next. And users will get to do fun missions with their friends very soon.

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