Mafia wars is an online computer game that gives players the opportunity to complete various mob missions and crime jobs around the world. During game play the player may move around to popular destinations such as New York City, Moscow, Las Vegas, Paris, Italy, and London. The main objective of the game is to earn money while participating in various Mafia activities and scenarios. Players can build up their Mafia by recruiting and hiring new members. Since its release Mafia Wars has become a major hit on social networking websites such as Facebook and Myspace. The game is offered free of charge however players do have the option of visiting the game's "marketplace" where they may make purchases to help increase their stats in the game.
Many describe the game as being similar to RPG (role playing games) style games due to its layout and the players need to "level up" through the game. While going through the game you will notice an energy bar that is affected by the amount of jobs the player completes. Naturally you will want to be as successful as possible in your jobs to keep your energy up and increase your stats. The more jobs you complete, the faster you will level up through the game and advance. In addition to leveling up players can also unlock things like city's such as Moscow (level 70). All in all it is a straightforward game that is pretty easy to figure out once you start to get into it.
As players advance they will expand their criminal empire and continue to advance. Many call the game addictive as it can be played for countless hours.
The popular online software company Zynga is the proud parent family of the game. Since the games release is has undergone a series of updates as well as issues. A few such updates came in 2009 when the addition of rackets were added to New York City and Cuba as well as Moscow were replaced by properties which can now to looted by other players. In addition to the games many updates, the game has also had its share of glitches and major system errors. Such errors include rollbacks of property levels and complete resets of entire cities without warning. Errors were common in during Mafia War's beta stage but now errors with the program are rare.
In 2009 a lawsuit was filed against the creators of Mafia Wars citing copyright infringement. The creators of the popular pre Mafia Wars game "Mob Wars" filed the suit. Zynga (Mafia Wars) maintained that they did not steal the company's game design although a lawsuit was inevitable. The games close likeness to each made it obvious that Mafia Wars did in fact rip off the games interface. In September 2009 the companies avoided court by settling to the tune of $9 million dollars. Later that year, Zynga faced for legal troubles. This time the company's trademark over the program's name was in question. The software company Digital Chocolate attempted to sued Zynga for trademark violation. Zynga still maintains their name as "Mafia Wars" to this day. The dispute apparently could not be proved and Mafia Wars will likely retain its name in the future.
More Legal Troubles
In a constant attempt to further promote the online game, Zynga has launched major advertising campaigns. Their biggest campaign came in August 2010 where they glued promotional $25,000 bills on the sidewalk of San Francisco. The company had no permission or authority to do so which resulted in San Francisco's City Attorney condeming the act and referring to it as "illegal and actionable." Zynga immediately pulled the plug and accepted responsibility for the promotional stunt, they will likely be more careful in the future.
Apart from providing a free means of entertainment, the developers of the game have generously given back. Zynga has been cited in a variety of charitable acts and donations. In December 2009, the company's donated 50% of revenue from their limited edition "Haitian Drum" to FATEM (a non profit charity that benefits Haiti.) Additionally, Zynga started a Haiti relief fund which donated 100% charity funds to victims of the Haiti disaster. Other charitable acts include donations to organizations fighting Huntington's Disease.
Mafia Wars is constantly running charitable specials. These specials have typically sprung on holidays such as Memorial day or to help aid in disasters.
In 2009 Mafia Wars was honored with the distinguished "Webby Award." The program is likely to bring in additional awards in the future.
Major Motion Picture Adaptation
A release of a major motion picture is in the works. The games developers have reached a deal that will see a movie based on the popular game in 2012. As of 2010 the cast has not been released, however it has been released that big title director Dan Lin will direct it. Mafia Wars will be the first social network based game to reach the big screen. It will be a New Line Cinema Film, keep an eye out for it in 2012.
References From Movies
Mafia Wars makes reference to several popular movies. It includes remade scenes and references to the following movies:
-Scarface - Mafia Wars features Scarface's famous chainsaw scene - Cost: 35 RP
-Green Hornet - Players may purchase Kato's Black Beauty car
- Carlito's Way- Various items such as a switchblade can be purchased in the marketplace - Cost 35 RP
- Miami Vice - Players may buy cars and clothes from the movie: Cost 35 RP
- Southland - Weapons from the popular tv series may be purchased.
- Public Enemies - Players may purchase Dillinger's coat and sunglasses - Cost: 25 RP
As the software updates and evolves, you can count on more references to various crime and gangster movies. Mafia War's success has ushered in a new brand of online gaming, as the game and other games similar to it continue to grow look for more and more gamers to participate in them.
To sign up and play Mafia wars, simply log on to your Facebook, Myspace, or Friendster account and play instantly. (Mafia Wars is also available on the Apple iPhone)