Zynga have been responsible for some of the biggest online games recently, using relatively simple concepts and achieving success other developers could only dream of having. Their portfolio of games reads like a list of Facebook"s most popular games, including FarmVille and CityVille. Getting to the top is an uphill struggle but it seems Zynga have the best idea of how to maintain their dominance: why wait for users to review the game when you can do it yourself?
As TouchArcade reports, this is exactly the approach Zynga has taken with Dream Heights. The game is a clone of NimbleBit"s Tiny Towers, but given the strength of Zynga as a brand it likely was destined for more success. Customer reviews on the iTunes Store show that people are aware of what concept Zynga has shamelessly stolen this time, apart from a handful of five-star reviews.
The second review might raise a few eyebrows in particular. How many reviewers consider everything in a developer"s backlog a masterpiece? Stating that it"s a must-play from the company might be fine, but stating it and then praising the company some more looks odd. Then you have the fact both reviews were published on the same day. John Lerma just so happens to be Zynga"s Senior User Experience Designer, while Matthew Ott is a Zynga Producer.
In the words of an internet meme... "seems legit". When a major company rips off an indie developer and then passes it off as their own work, it is difficult to justify. When they do so, and then praise their own app, they"re setting themselves up for a real fall. Zynga have managed to do both, masterfully, with two sentence-length reviews.