Tami Baribeau is employed by Metaplace Inc. and is one of the developers for My Vineyard and Island Life:
She very graciously popped in to one of the Wine Tasting Parties.
Here is the link to the thread:
Tami Visits Wine Party
One of the players, Lauren Sauvé, asked Tami to summarize what was said during the Wine Party.
You can see the original thread here:
Tami Baribeau Sure Lauren,
I basically just talked about Metaplace a little bit. We're a team of around 25 people in San Diego, and we work on My Vineyard and Island Life for a living (and future games!). This is our career, so we're dependent upon our games making money in order for us to continue making fun games!
We provide these games to everyone free of charge, however they cost us a lot of money to run. We have servers to pay for (each one of your vineyards costs us money), and we have an office that requires us to pay to operate here. As much as we'd love to give everyone everything for free, we would be unable to continue making this game if we were not only paying our costs, but making a profit enough to continue paying salaries and hiring more and more talent to build better and better games.
Those ads that you see on the side of Facebook - those are Facebook's ads. We do not get anything from those ads (I know that is a common question). We don't actually run any ads on our games (not saying we never WILL, but we don't right now). The only way we make money is if you all purchase Wine Cash to support the games. It's not being greedy, it's simply the only way we can support an office full of professional game developers. The other option would be to run the game like a traditional downloadable MMO, and have a mandatory subscription fee just to play. We don't want to do that, because the best part about Facebook is the ability for players to jump in and have fun without being REQUIRED to pay anything.
I definitely understand it's frustrating to see that new items are released for Wine Cash, but we do balance new items between coins and Wine Cash. There are also many ways that you can earn Wine Cash on the "Buy Wine Cash page" by taking part in offers such as the "Application of the Day". Please keep in mind that 1 Wine Cash is only 20 cents, which I know CAN add up - but a little goes a long way to help us pay our costs and keep My Vineyard constantly releasing new items and content.
Hope that helps you all understand exactly why games (not just our games, but all Facebook games) have to charge money to operate and continuing making experience for all of you Facebook game players out there! :)
Post by application developer.