Zynga might roll right over its competitors in those categories because it’s the big kahuna of social games. It’s a perfectly good strategy for a market leader, and it’s worked for Zynga before.
Zynga showed only its “red ocean” strategy, not a “blue ocean strategy.” Zynga is charging head-on at its rivals, fighting for market share with the sharks as they go after the meat (in this case, Facebook players) in the bloody red ocean. The concept here was chronicled in 2005 in the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. In a red ocean battle, the market share is fixed, and competitors fight each other for it in a zero-sum game. But in the blue ocean, where there are no competitors, a company can be successful by expanding the size of the market.
Just about every title that Zynga announced was in direct competition with a rival. The Ville, introduced by game designer Mark Skaggs above, is squarely aimed at taking players away from Electronic Arts’ The Sims Social. By the same token, EA’s own SimCity Social is aimed at Zynga’s CityVille. That’s a red ocean fight. With bubble shooter titles such as Bubble Safari and Ruby Blast, Zynga is going after rival King.com, which has soared in popularity in the last year with games that have short, one-minute gameplay times, much like arcade titles. And with its Matching with Friends game, Zynga is going after Wooga’s Diamond Dash and PopCap’s Bejeweled Blitz.