MIGS 2010: Former VP of Microsoft Game Group talks the challenge of social game development

Devs must be careful with addiction, says Ed Fries

Ed Fries has said that social game developers must take care when creating titles built around addiction.

The former vice president of Microsoft Game Group said: "We have to be careful about using addiction as a mechanic in our games."

The comment came as Fries, the man fundamental to the foundation of the Xbox platform, welcomed questions from the audience following his riveting opening keynote at MIGS 2010.

When a voice from the crowd asked ‘what do you thing of social games?’, Fries admitted the question was a plant to break the ice, and revealed some slides to demonstrate his point.

One showed a tongue-in-cheek vision of movies built in the ‘addictive template’ of social games. the screenshot was filled with a large hypnictic spiral and the text ‘insert all your money into the slot’.

Fries also drew attention to the game Pocket Frogs, which his son apparently enjoys. Fires son reportedly described the game’s quality thus: "First its boring. Then it is boring and addictive."

Fries was quick to point to the fact that he still thinks Pocket Frogs is a well designed game.

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