Article is by our own Tami Baribeau one of the developers of My Vineyard:
On almost any Facebook game wall, you will see posts from people complaining that the latest and greatest desired item requires real money to purchase. Many players cannot fathom why a Facebook game should ever require them to pay money for digital pixels, and find themselves irate when game developers do not offer a way to obtain all items without requiring real dollars to be spent. For some players, buying items simply isn't an option because they're too young to purchase without parent's permission, they are out of the country, or they simply do not have the extra change laying around to spend on a virtual game. In this column, we'll take a look at the reasons why Facebook game developers have to charge for items in their games despite player's constant objections.
Creating a game costs a huge chunk of money. We're not talking thousands here - for some of the top games that you're playing such as FarmVille or Pet Society, millions of dollars have been spent even before the game launched. Games require staff such as client programmers, server programmers, game designers, producers, project managers, business developers, and executives. That doesn't even include the standard business personnel that most companies require such as a Human Resources department, lawyer consultation, office managers, and more. Social games are easier to develop than console games and standard MMORPG titles, but they still require months of time and generally dozens of employees. That's a lot of salaries, office rent, and expenses that have to be made up…
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