|Platform(s)||PC, Mac OS, iPhone, mobile phone, miscellaneous internet connected device|
In Mafia Wars the gamers play as gangsters building their own mafia.
The players fight other players online and complete tasks to gain
rewards and strength in the game.
Mafia Wars was the 2009 Webby Award People's Voice Winner in the Games category. Mafia Wars is available on several social networking sites and on the iPhone and Android phones.
Mafia Wars is available on Yahoo, Myspace (Discontinued), Facebook, Tagged (Discontinued), Sonico, as an iPhone App and as a Google Chrome app. Mafia Wars is no longer available on Tagged or Myspace.
On Facebook, as of August 2010, Mafia Wars had up to 45.5 million monthly accounts created. 
As of April, 2011, Appdata.com reports that Mafia Wars players have
shrunk down to 10.7 million monthly active accounts, with approximately
1.7 million daily active users. 
A screenshot of the first New York job tier on an older version of Mafia Wars running on Facebook
Mafia Wars is set in New York City with the option for players to travel between New York (or Manhattan), Las Vegas (level 18+), Italy (level 6+), Cuba (level 35+), Moscow (level 70+), Bangkok, and Atlantic City (intended for mobile browser). Opening of a new area, Brazil, was announced in the game on March 9, 2011.
The game revolves around fighting other players and doing jobs to
earn cash, items and experience, with the goal of establishing and
advancing one's criminal empire.
Players create mafias by recruiting other players. In-game generated
mafia members can be added to the player's mafia by Social networking
sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster and Yahoo! allow players to
recruit from friends to build their mafia and fight against other
players. Players can also improve their stats by visiting the Marketplace (i.e., making a micropayment).
Gameplay is limited by 3 timers: players have limited energy (for
doing jobs), and health and stamina meters (for fighting other players),
which slowly recharge over time. With the help of other mafia members
that have been recruited, players can fight other players, which may or
may not result in the theft of cash, "icing", or "death" of the other
player. Fighting is based on the strength of each player and their
mafia. When 2 players fight, the stronger one wins and does damage to
the weaker one's health meter. Strength of the player and their mafia is
calculated with the number and quality of 4 kinds of fighting items:
Weapons, Armory, Vehicles and Animals. The items can be bought in
different locations, achieved as rewards for doing jobs or fighting,
built in special properties, or gifted between players. The game
operates on a level up
basis. The player earns experience points by completing jobs and
fighting. Players who manage to complete special tasks (for example,
winning fights against bigger mafias or winning fifteen fights in a row)
are labeled as having accomplished an "achievement", resulting in a
bonus for the player. As they level up, more jobs and features become
available, such as the ability to visit Las Vegas to expand their
 The cities of the game
Mafia Wars was released to the public in April 2008 with the first playable in-game city called New York.
In Mafia Wars, the jobs in each location are divided in tiers. The job
tiers in New York have titles which are the ranks in the
Italian-American mafia (like Capo, Hitman or Consiglere). The tiers and
jobs in New York are unlocked gradually as the player gains levels in
the game. Some NY tiers have bonus fights called Boss Fights, which the
player can choose to fight, but those fights are not required for
mastering. After mastering jobs, the player achieves the tier title
which can be added to their name in the gamer's profile. Properties in
NY can be bought by all players depending only on how much game cash the
player has amassed. The properties in NY generate income for the player
or special parts for building fighting items. The currency in NY is
location was added on June 11, 2009. The players could access Cuba
after achieving level 35 in the game. There were 6 job tiers in Cuba
available gradually through levels 35 to 80, with Spanish criminal
titles for mastering, such as El Soldado or El Padrino. There were no
boss fights. After mastering a job tier the player got a valuable fight
item as a reward. 6 properties could be bought by all players and
generate income. One Cuban property was called Bribery Ring and
generated Corrupt Politicians instead of cash. In different cities of
Mafia Wars the whole look of the game, the properties, names and items
are stylized to fit the locality (such as "Tobacco field" for income or
"Canonazo" as weapons in Cuba). The currency in Cuba was pesos.
After a significant in-game marketing, Zynga added a new mafia city, Moscow, on September 24, 2009. Moscow
was accessible to players after level 70. The 6 job tiers had Russian
titles for mastering such as Brigadir or Pakhan. At the end of each tier
a Russian boss could be fought, giving a valuable item as reward. A new
feature was added to the jobs: players had to choose one of the 2
competing Russian mafias: the Thieves in Law Vory or the Russian Mafiya
- the player could do jobs for the Vory or for the Mafiya. Once chosen
side, the player would get slightly different rewards and titles. The 5
Moscow properties generated only cash, not items. The currency in Moscow was rubles.
On January 20, 2010, Bangkok
Beta was released with some players being granted access to it, but
some not. This was to prevent too many people from going to Bangkok which may cause the system to crash. Bangkok
has since been released to all players who have collected 3 Asian items
by doing certain jobs in New York. Collecting the items allowed a "Thai
passport" being made for the player. Like in Moscow, in Bangkok players
could choose between doing jobs for two mafias: the Chinese Triad or the Japanese Yakuza. The job tier titles in Bangkok were English like Pirate or Commandant. The currency was Thai Baht.
Las Vegas, came out June 23, 2010, as a beta, and July 21, 2010, out of beta.
Las Vegas is accessible to all players after reaching level 17 in the
game. The job tiers in Vegas are 8 local districts like Lower Strip or
Shogun Casino. The properties can be bought only after mastering a
certain Property job in each district. To unlock a job tier, the player
must master all jobs in a previous tier and fight the tier boss in the
end of each tier. After killing the boss, the player receives a valuable
fight item with the boss name, like Teresa Trieste's gun. The boss item
can be mastered by redoing the whole tier. Building a Unlike other
locations, there is no bank for the player in Vegas, so the player must
build their own vault to keep their money safe from other players. The
currency in Vegas is poker chips.
In October 2010 Mafia Wars released Italy with 5 playable regions as tiers, with 3 more regions being released later. Players can access Italy from level 6. The regions are Italian cities with their Italian names, like Venezia or Napoli. Rome
occurs twice as a tier region - the first tier is called Roma and the
8th tier is called Eternal City. The tier titles are connected to the
city, like Palermitano Poco. The gameplay is just like in Las Vegas -
properties can only be bought after mastering Property jobs and job
tiers are only unlocked after fighting a previous tier boss, with a
masterable boss item as reward. Like in Las Vegas, all the Italian
properties are painted on one clickable picture. The Port property in
Italy generates items as well as cash. The currency in Italy is lira.
In March 2011, two locations were removed from Mafia Wars: Cuba and Moscow.
On March 3, 2011, Cuba became unavailable to players for "the
foreseeable future." The shutting down was announced in the game with a
special goodbye mission for the players, called "Cuba in Crisis". Moscow was closed down on March 10, 2011 with the last player mission called "Massacre in Moscow".
Removing of Bangkok has been announced in game on March 10, 2011, with
the last mission called "Battle in Bangkok". The Bangkok area was
scheduled to be shut down on March 18, 2011, but on March 16, Zynga
announced that they will not immediately shut down Bangkok due to the
fact that many players are not finished with the area yet.
The introduction of a new area, Brazil,
has started in the game from March 9, 2011. The player access to Brazil
has been scheduled to March 16, 2011. This region has five playable
cities at the moment, namely Rio de Janeiro, Belem, Manaus, Sao Paolo and Recife.
In 2010, the locations Paris, London, South Africa, Mumbai and Dublin were introduced as challenge missions for a limited time.
Mafia Wars has special events with missions and awards based around
different themes, including the holiday events such as Valentine's Day,
Chinese New Year, Easter, the Fourth of July, Christmas and others.
 Updating and server issues
Mafia Wars' parent company, Zynga, has worked to adapt
multiple changes within the game, introducing various "beta" features
into the game, such as robbing (wherein players can rob each others'
property). These features are often removed without warning, and older
players have reported that the property and task interface is
substantially different between that of newer players and those who have
been playing for a time.
In October 2009 Rackets was added to New York and replaced the old
properties method. New players had the new version while older ones
retained properties. In spring 2010, New York rackets were abolished and
properties relaunched. Four non-cash generating properties, the Weapons
Depot, Armory, Chop Shop and Private Zoo were subsequently added. At
the same time, businesses in Bangkok, Cuba and Moscow were replaced by
properties. Properties across all cities can now be looted by opposing
Zynga reports that a game release on 5/21 at midnight (PST) may have affected players' stats for anyone playing between 12–3 am.
The makers of a similar online game, Mob Wars, sued Zynga over their launch of Mafia Wars, accusing Zynga of copyright infringement. Zynga made some changes to Mafia Wars so it did not resemble Mob Wars as closely, but Mob Wars creator David Maestri moved forward with his lawsuit.
In September 2009, Maestri and Zynga settled the case for about
$7–9 million, less than the $10 million Maestri had originally demanded.
 Trademark disputes
Zynga filed its trademark for the stylized version of Mafia Wars with
the U.S. Patent & Trademarks Office on July 1, 2009, months after
it first launched the Mafia Wars game on the internet through Facebook.
The Zynga trademark application for Mafia Wars sought to cover games
for computers and wireless devices. David L. Kelejian, however on June
15, 2009, just two weeks prior to the Zynga filing, filed an
intent-to-use trademark application for a stylized version of Mafia Wars
which covered clothing and apparel. Zynga later began selling Mafia Wars branded clothing through Zazzle.
By or before late November 2009, Zynga noticed Kelejian's pending
trademark application for Mafia Wars, and filed a trademark opposition
proceeding against Kelejian's trademark on December 1, 2009.
In August 2010, Digital Chocolate
sued Zynga over allegations that Zynga falsely claimed it had coined
the "Mafia Wars" trademark. Digital Chocolate had previously created a
cell-phone game by the same name. According to TGDaily, Zynga agreed to stop using the "Mafia Wars" trademark but failed to follow through.
A promotional campaign for Mafia Wars occurred in San Francisco
in August 2010. Davis Elen Advertising ran the campaign, which
consisted of fake $25,000 bills glued to the sidewalk promoting "Mafia
Wars: Las Vegas." Deputy City Attorney Alex Tse called the campaign
"illegal and actionable." Davis Elen has taken full responsibility for the promotion.
After the 2010 Haiti earthquake
Zynga issued a special item for three of its games, including the
Haitian Drum in Mafia Wars. The proceeds of the sale of these went to
the Haiti Relief Fund and exceeded $1.2 million.
 Movie & series advertising
- Public Enemies
had a loot drop and limited time job to advertise Public Enemies coming
to Blu-ray and DVD, players were able to watch video clips from the
film and get items such as Purvis' rifle, Dillinger's pistols, Locket of
Billie, A public enemies newspaper, a fur coat and prison stripes. (A
previously released Wooden Gun was re-released.) Mastering the limited
time job would give you Dillinger's sunglasses. Two items went on sale
for 25 RP: Dillinger's Overcoat and a stolen police car.
had a loot sale which players were able to acquire "A deal gone bad"
(chainsaw) "Tony Montana's suit" (White with white vest and red shirt), a
tiger and "My Little Friend."
- Carlito's Way
also made a deal to have items appear in Mafia Wars (35 RP in the
Marketplace): "Carlito's Way" (A switchblade), Kleinfeld's boat, Benny
Blanco and Carlito's Jacket.
- Miami Vice
also had a promotion (35 RP in the Marketplace): Sonny's Suit, Go Fast
Boat (a speed boat), Rico's Revenge (a gun) and Miami Vice (a car).
had a small promotion: players were able to send Southlander (a
shotgun) to other players. There was also a promotion image that led to
the Southland Facebook fan page for a trailer of the next season of Southland starting in January 2011.
- The Green Hornet also had a promotion. Objects such as the double-barreled gun, "Kato's Bike" and the "Black Beauty" were available.
- The Fast & Furious series
had vehicles included, all under fictional names. Vehicles were the
Ford Torino (named the Fenix GT) from the fourth film, Brian's Subaru
(O'Connor's Euro Car) from the fourth film, Dom's Dodge Charger (named
Dom's Supercharger) and Roman's Eclipse Spyder (named Roman's violet
 Film adaptation
Deadline announced that a film adaptation of Mafia Wars is in the works. Dan Lin will direct the film with New Line Cinema distributing. The planned release will be sometime in 2012.
- ^ "Webby Nominees". The Webby Awards. http://www.webbyawards.com/webbys/current.php?season=13. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- ^ "Mafia Wars by Zynga Hits the iPhone". IGN. April 8, 2009. http://wireless.ign.com/articles/970/970977p1.html. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
- ^ Mafia Wars on Facebook.com
- ^ 
- ^ a b c Boychuk, Ben. "Mob Games for the IPhone". PC World. http://www.pcworld.com/article/165884/mob_games_for_the_iphone.html. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
- ^ Graft, Kris. "Social Game Mafia Wars Hits 4 Million Daily Users". Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24307. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
- ^ The Leaf Chronicle: Facebook's 'Farmville' not a laughing matter[dead link]
- ^ "Mafia Wars Moscow: Exclusive First Look!". http://blog.games.com/2009/09/23/mafia-wars-moscow-exclusive-first-look/.
- ^ Mafia Wars: Travel to Bangkok Now! Facebook, 29 January 2010
- ^ "Mafia Wars". http://www.pinoywebsurfer.com/2009/06/glimpse-of-mafia-wars-cuba.html. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
- ^ "Cuba in Crisis Mission Event 411 and FAQ". Zynga. 2011-03-02. http://zynga.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4030/kw/cuba. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- ^ "Massacre in Moscow Mission Event". Zynga. 2011-03-04. http://zynga.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4031/kw/moscow. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- ^ Events Mafia Wars Wiki
- ^ Mob Wars Creator Puts A Hit Out On Zynga, Sues For Copyright Infringement from TechCrunch.com (February 14, 2009)
- ^ Zynga Settles Mob Wars Litigation As It Settles In To Playdom Fight TechCrunch.com
- ^ a b c d Mafia Wars - Real Life Trademark Battle Inside Trademarks, February 7, 2010
- ^ Luttrell, Mike (2010-08-25). "UPDATE: Digital Chocolate sues Facebook game giant Zynga over Mafia Wars". TGDaily. http://www.tgdaily.com/business-and-law-brief/51240-digital-chocolate-sues-facebook-game-giant-zynga-over-mafia-wars. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- ^ Letzing, John (2010-08-20). "Zynga Game Network Draws Heat In San Francisco Over Marketing". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100820-711461.html. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- ^ Jamison, Peter (2010-08-23). "Zynga Off the Hook for Mafia Wars Vandalism, S.F. City Attorney Says". SF Weekly. http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2010/08/zynga_vandalism_mafia_wars.php. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- ^ AJ Glasser (January 14, 2010). "Zynga raises $1.2 million in relief money for Haiti through FarmVille, Mafia Wars". GamePro. http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/213593/zynga-raises-1-2-million-in-relief-money-for-haiti-through-farmville-mafia-wars/.
- ^ Jessica Citizen (2010-06-30). "Mafia Wars movie in the works". http://www.gamepron.com/news/2010/06/29/mafia-wars-movie-in-the-works/. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
 External links
- Official Mafia Wars Website
- Official Mafia Wars blog
- Mafia Wars Mobile
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