Mafia Wars

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Mafia Wars
Mafia Wars logo.jpg
Developer(s) Zynga
Publisher(s) Zynga
Platform(s) PC, Mac OS, iPhone, mobile phone, miscellaneous internet connected device
Genre(s) Role-playing, casual

Mafia Wars is a multiplayer Social network game created by Zynga.

In Mafia Wars the gamers play as gangsters building their own mafia. The players fight other players online, "rob" other players, and complete jobs, missions, and operations to gain rewards and strength in the endless game. The game is a freemium game, meaning it is free to play normally but players have the option of purchasing premium content and access to customer service.

Mafia Wars was the 2009 Webby Award People's Voice Winner in the Games category.[1] Mafia Wars is available as a FaceBook app.

A sequel, Mafia Wars 2, was released in October 2011,[2] and was shut down December 30, 2012.[3]

Platforms and Gameplay[edit]

Mafia Wars is available on Facebook, as an iPhone App and as a Google Chrome app.

On Facebook, as of August 2010, Mafia Wars had up to 45.5 million monthly accounts created.[4] As of April, 2013, Appdata.com reports approximately 100,000 daily users out of 500,000 monthly users. As of November 18, 2014, MetricsMonk reported that the game had 450,000 monthly active users.

A screenshot of the first New York job tier on an older version of Mafia Wars running on Facebook

Mafia Wars is set in New York City with the option for players to travel to other locations, such as London, South Africa, and Mexico. Other locations were formerly available.

The game revolves around fighting and robbing other players and doing Jobs, Missions, and Operations to earn cash, building parts, weapons, attack and defense fighting skills, and experience, with the goal of establishing and advancing one's criminal empire. Players create mafias by recruiting other players or winning or buying artificial members (Hired Guns). Other players can be added to one's mafia through FaceBook.

Gameplay is limited by 3 meters. Players have limited Energy (for doing jobs), and limited Stamina and Health (for fighting or robbing other players),.[5] The first two meters slowly recharge over time or fill in one step when Experience progress in Jobs causes the player to Level Up. Fighting other players may or may not result in the theft of cash, "Icing", or "Killing" of the player attacked, or random gifts of Loot (weapons), building parts, or consumable job supplies. Outcomes of an attack or attempt to rob are calculated by a secret formula that takes into account the respective player's fighting skill, the number and quality of 5 kinds of weapons (Weapons, Armory, Vehicles, Animals and Henchmen), and a randomizing factor. When a player wins an attack, he does damage to the loser's Health and suffers a loss of Health himself (usually less than the loss of health by the loser of the attack). In May 2014, Mexico became the newest permanent location (City).

Mafia Wars 2[edit]

Mafia Wars 2 opened during Fall 2011.

Mafia Wars 2 has 8 districts to play.

Updating and server issues[edit]

Mafia Wars' parent company, Zynga, has worked to adapt multiple changes within the game, introducing various "beta" features into the game, such as robbing (wherein players can rob each other's property). These features are often removed without warning, and older players have reported that the property and task interface is substantially different between that of newer players and those who have been playing for a time.

Lawsuit[edit]

The makers of a similar online game, Mob Wars, sued Zynga over their launch of Mafia Wars, accusing Zynga of copyright infringement. Zynga made some changes to Mafia Wars so it did not resemble Mob Wars as closely, but Mob Wars creator David Maestri moved forward with his lawsuit.[6] In September 2009, Maestri and Zynga settled the case for about $7–9 million, less than the $10 million Maestri had originally demanded.[7]

Trademark disputes[edit]

Zynga filed its trademark for the stylized version of Mafia Wars with the U.S. Patent & Trademarks Office on July 1, 2009, months after it first launched the Mafia Wars game on the internet through Facebook.[8] The Zynga trademark application for Mafia Wars sought to cover games for computers and wireless devices. David L. Kelejian, however on June 15, 2009, just two weeks prior to the Zynga filing, filed an intent-to-use trademark application for a stylized version of Mafia Wars which covered clothing and apparel.[8] Zynga later began selling Mafia Wars branded clothing through Zazzle.[8] By or before late November 2009, Zynga noticed Kelejian's pending trademark application for Mafia Wars, and filed a trademark opposition proceeding against Kelejian's trademark on December 1, 2009.[8]

In August 2010, Digital Chocolate sued Zynga over allegations that Zynga falsely claimed it had coined the "Mafia Wars" trademark. Digital Chocolate had previously created a cell-phone game by the same name. According to TGDaily, Zynga agreed to stop using the "Mafia Wars" trademark but failed to follow through.[9]

Advertising[edit]

A promotional campaign for Mafia Wars occurred in San Francisco in August 2010. Davis Elen Advertising ran the campaign, which consisted of fake $25,000 bills glued to the sidewalk promoting "Mafia Wars: Las Vegas." Deputy City Attorney Alex Tse called the campaign "illegal and actionable."[10] Davis Elen has taken full responsibility for the promotion.[11]

Charity[edit]

After the 2010 Haiti earthquake Zynga issued a special item for three of its games, including the Haitian Drum in Mafia Wars. The proceeds of the sale of these three items went to the Haiti Relief Fund and exceeded $1.2 million.[12] Zynga also released some items in the marketplace after the hurricane Irene.

Movie & series advertising[edit]

  • Public Enemies had a loot drop and limited time job to advertise Public Enemies coming to Blu-ray and DVD, players were able to watch video clips from the film and get items such as Purvis' rifle, Dillinger's pistols, Locket of Billie, A public enemies newspaper, a fur coat and prison stripes. (A previously released Wooden Gun was re-released.) Mastering the limited time job would give you Dillinger's sunglasses. Two items went on sale for 25 RP: Dillinger's Overcoat and a stolen police car.
  • Scarface had a loot sale which players were able to acquire "A deal gone bad" (chainsaw) "Tony Montana's suit" (White with white vest and red shirt), a tiger and "My Little Friend."
  • Carlito's Way also made a deal to have items appear in Mafia Wars (35 RP in the Marketplace): "Carlito's Way" (A switchblade), Kleinfeld's boat, Benny Blanco and Carlito's Jacket.
  • Miami Vice also had a promotion (35 RP in the Marketplace): Sonny's Suit, Go Fast Boat (a speed boat), Rico's Revenge (a gun) and Miami Vice (a car).
  • Southland had a small promotion: players were able to send Southlander (a shotgun) to other players. There was also a promotion image that led to the Southland Facebook fan page for a trailer of the next season of Southland starting in January 2011.
  • The Green Hornet also had a promotion. Objects such as the double-barreled gun, "Kato's Bike" and the "Black Beauty" were available.
  • The Fast & Furious series had vehicles included, all under fictional names. Vehicles were the Ford Torino (named the Fénix GT) from the fourth film, Brian's Subaru (O'Connor's Euro Car) from the fourth film, Dom's Dodge Charger (named Dom's Supercharger) and Roman's Eclipse Spyder (named Roman's violet Spider).
  • A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas had a short appearance while the characters are playing the game on the iPad.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Webby Nominees". The Webby Awards. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Mafia Wars 2 Released". GameReviews. Retrieved Oct 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Unhappy New Year: Zynga shuts down 'PetVille,' 'Mafia Wars 2,' 9 other games". NBC News. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ Mafia Wars on Facebook.com
  5. ^ The Leaf Chronicle: Facebook's 'Farmville' not a laughing matter[dead link]
  6. ^ Mob Wars Creator Puts A Hit Out On Zynga, Sues For Copyright Infringement from TechCrunch.com (February 14, 2009)
  7. ^ Zynga Settles Mob Wars Litigation As It Settles In To Playdom Fight TechCrunch.com
  8. ^ a b c d Mafia Wars - Real Life Trademark Battle Inside Trademarks, February 7, 2010
  9. ^ Luttrell, Mike (2010-08-25). "UPDATE: Digital Chocolate sues Facebook game giant Zynga over Mafia Wars". TGDaily. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  10. ^ Letzing, John (2010-08-20). "Zynga Game Network Draws Heat In San Francisco Over Marketing". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Jamison, Peter (2010-08-23). "Zynga Off the Hook for Mafia Wars Vandalism, S.F. City Attorney Says". SF Weekly. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  12. ^ AJ Glasser (January 14, 2010). "Zynga raises $1.2 million in relief money for Haiti through FarmVille, Mafia Wars". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2011-12-01. 

External links[edit]