It's that time of year again. E3, the massive video game conference in Los Angeles, has come and gone. As in the past, the conference was a perfect glimpse into what we can expect from the video game industry for the next year or two. Looking past the glitz, the glam, and the booth babes, a number of trends stood out.
This week, Zynga launched "Empires and Allies," the latest in its line of addictive, microtransaction-based building/strategy games ahead of its rumored upcoming IPO. Despite being the most successful Facebook game developer nearly since its inception a year ago, Zynga has drawn the ire of respected voices in gaming spheres, and "Empires and Allies" appears to be an attempt at addressing some of the criticisms leveled at Zynga, especially the idea that its "social" games aren't really that social at all.