I made a couple of blog posts about social platform (or Facebook) games, and I try to remove the trolling part in my message and just summarize some points that perhaps reflect what I’m thinking:
- First of all, I think gaming market is expanding. Facebook as a platform will bring new players in the genre. Not sure if some leap from downloadable casual games territory (I’d presume they do), but this might happen. I believe FB is a good thing for games. It expands the market.
- With that being said. I hate about 99.8% of facebook games: “[Insert something here] Wars” and “Farm [add something here]” clones. Well, hate is too strong word. Let’s say that I just consider these games to be utter piece of crap that I wouldn’t touch with a very long stick.
- With that being said, I believe the makers of these games are pure geniuses. These guys have done something that major gaming companies struggle with: tons of donuts.
- Sure, you can say that the Farmville whatnot games are “stupid repetitive mouse clicking” but hey, just look at what World of Warcraft is (according to some players). Does word “grinding” ring a bell?
- And a word about “cloning games”. Yeh, that’s a bit sucky thing (especially as an indie I sort of dislike the clone wars)… but unfortunately there’s not much what I can do about it. Same phenomena can be seen pretty much in all genres and platforms.
- I think the comments like “you bloodsuckers (=Zynga) are not playing farely, you are deceiving the players!” are partially (perhaps for the most part) just jealous talk. My bet is that 7 out of 10 of these talkers are just jealous that they didn’t invent this idea. Okay, Zynga has done bad deals (one could say they’ve been deceiving with ad partners in the past) and shown some bad customer support (I read about some kid who managed to make big credit card bills for the parents without their knowledge, perhaps legally Zynga was right… but morally?), which in my opinion is very unacceptable. Yeh, I think there’s some evilness in Zynga (and perhaps other companies)… but 81%-wise I think that these companies are being successful somewhere where others have failed.
- FB can make things go viral. With hundreds of millions of users who have simple way of sharing things… that’s virality. Naturally there’s the risk that the more games there will be the more saturated the FB platform becomes, and the less there’s virality in games. After all, it’s easy to suggest 2-3 great games to friends, but you don’t want to share 250 different games with your buddies, right?
- …and one more thing: I’ve never thought that there couldn’t be great games in Facebook at some point. Currently, I think many of the hit games are relatively similar (“snowball growing” games) and there’s quite little on the innovation side of things. But that doesn’t mean a witty indie couldn’t make something totally cool there.