The company behind Farmville and the totally screwed up addictive behavior commensurate with it has just launched a new game called Empires & Allies. It's basically Farmville meets Risk meets toy soldiers. It's for history nerds and, because it has make believe guns: dudes. This may be a good time to talk about Zynga. They are getting ready to go public and they're an odd sort of enterprise. The games they make aren't necessarily designed to be fun and they don't look all that pretty, they're just designed to be addictive, to make you come back and keep playing. Thing is, people still get sick of them after a while, so you'll see a huge spike in players and then a quick drop off. To that end, Zynga needs to keep pumping out new, massive games at all times. Make them too similar, people get bored. Make them too different, people get confused. Zynga needs people hooked because within the game, people spend real money and that's where Zynga rakes in the cash.

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