After five years of successful growth and a following of 1.5 million, The Mafia Boss‘s creator and Managing Director of Just Fun Softwares, Larbi Belrhiti, has much to celebrate since the game’s May 5, 2005, launch.
I had the opportunity to talk with Belrhiti and discus the game’s success and what makes this Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game different from all the others found online today. Browser-based Mafia Boss allows players to become, well, a mafia boss and control their own gang and perform a variety of crime jobs including collecting money from casinos and taking out the competition in street wars.
“The Mafia Boss is not just a game where you click, click and click,” he said, going on to describe the game as a big family. “In The Mafia Boss players have built an amazing community that you always miss as soon you leave your computer. Like Michael Corleone said [in the movie Godfather III], ‘Just when I thought I was out … they pull me back in.'”
Belrhiti said that, despite the recent mafia game titles being released, his game has maintained more than 1.5 million registered players with many dominant and outstanding players over the years Mafia Boss will always be the mother of mafia games in the game community and, after five years, there is much to be celebrated. In fact, all players recently received a special limited edition badge and awards that celebrates how many years they have been playing the game marking their own anniversary with the game.
“Five years for an online game is a big performance,” he said. “We have distributed online badges for all players that played for 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years and yes, 5-years badges. To our big surprise, a lot of players have the 5 years badge. This has showed us how addictive The Mafia Boss [game really is] and how loyal to the game is our community. What it means to us [is] a new beginning! We have planned to become the number one web-based mafia game and we have revolutionary plans to reach that.”
When asked what made the game a success and enjoyable from concept to finish, Belrhiti replied it essentially started with boredom.
“Creating The Mafia Boss has been all enjoyment. I have started developing the game while I was waiting for a work permit in France. My idea was to create a web-based game that I would enjoy myself, not like those games that are just tables and digits,” he said. “The game got launched at the same time I started a full time job for a big multinational consulting firm, Accenture.”
Belhriti said soon he had to make a choice between a boring job and one that was pure fun.
“You can imagine I didn’t stay [at Accenture for very] long as my full-time job was just boring while my game project was 100% fun,” he said and added that was when he decided to leave the company to “dedicate myself to my dream … and yes it has been 5 years now … surfing on a dream!”
Compared to Mafia Wars on Facebook, a four-year player and The Mafia Boss Game Moderator, Nick Rogers, admits the Facebook game can be addictive but not as involved as The Mafia Boss.
“I play Mafia Wars and i can’t deny that it is for some reason addictive but in a stupid way. I’ve leveled up and at this point have completed all the missions and just collect loot when I’m bored. But, and this is a big but, what it totally misses is the player interaction,” Rogers explained. “What I love about The Mafia Boss is the actual interaction and things you can only do with help and involvement of others.”
Belrhiti added that Mafia Boss will continue to listen to its players and maintain their title as the original online mafia game. Retaining a high level of competition from a thriving community with generous prizes to successful players now and in years to come, Belrhiti and his staff have much to celebrate this year.
“We have been running the most addictive mafia game for 5 years. We are known and called the original mafia game. We work every day in an environment we enjoy with great team of staff.”
Site [Mafia Boss]