Zynga’s Facebook Games span a range of interests, from customizable avatar games (like YoVille and PetVille) to alternate reality lifestyle options (like FarmVille and MafiaWars). Anyone can log in to Facebook and show off an ability to strategize with Zynga’s Empires and Allies, boast a clever vocabulary in Words with Friends, or even settle in to watch virtual sea creatures in FishVille. Or, one could choose to run a cartoon restaurant in CafeWorld, and cook-up a (seemingly) never-ending list of dishes on stoves, pizza ovens, cake ovens, sushi stations, and a whole host of other cooking devices.
One earns Café Points, which lead to level increases, as well as Café Coins, which are the most commonly used currency in the game. One can also earn low levels of Café Cash (the currency needed to purchase upgrades and new dishes faster, and without the help of other players) within the game, either by winning it via the Prize Machine in the game or by playing consistently. Playing daily (without days between sessions) is logged by the game and rewarded. One can earn parts for special items, dishes to be served within the Café, spices (used to do things like speeding cooking, saving spoiled dishes, and increasing portions of currently cooking dishes), and Café Cash.
For as many days as one’s “streak” continues, the player is rewarded (with both one of the abovementioned items and an updated count of how many days one has played). The rewards are not increased. In fact, after the first 60 days or so (during which a player could, a few times, earn up to three Café Cash one day per week), one is rewarded with only one Café Cash when Café Cash is the day’s reward.
A reasonable person could think that there would be a significant reward (at least 10 Café Cash or a complete special item) at the 100 day mark, or at the 200 day mark, or—if nowhere else—at the 365 day mark. However, none of the milestones receive special acknowledgement. One could assume that few players have committed to more than a full year of daily play, so the idea that such dedicated participation would be significantly acknowledged doesn’t seem farfetched.
Is Zynga taking customers for granted? Is CafeWorld’s programming unable to recognize milestone numbers within the daily count? Regardless of the problem, it seems one Zynga should consider revising in order to continue competing for the time (and money, since most players sink real-world money into Café Cash, if only occasionally) of casual gamers.