I have to admit, I’ve not looked too hard recently but I really can’t say I’ve ever found a game on Facebook that I really wanted to play more than once. I know games Farmville and those games where you run a cafe or whatever are really popular but they really don’t tick my boxes. I’m representative of the demographic that does like a little collecting and organizing in their games, but only as far as it makes killing things more fun, more efficient or bloodier. Give me an inventory and I’ll rearrange it to make one of those options more likely. I always figured Facebook games were all about collecting things or building things so you have access to more things to build or collect, and for the most part I was right. This is all about to change.
Facebook have realised that as far as their game offerings are concerned, the 18-30 demographic have been slightly overlooked in favour the casual gaming audience, and are looking to rectify this in 2013. With over 1 billion people using Facebook on a regular basis, it has the potential to be a major player when it comes to video games, something that a ton of developers have already jumped on, embracing the ‘freemium’ revenue model. As mentioned before, the developers of the most popular games have previously focused on the casual gamer. This will be changing according to Sean Ryan, head of games partnerships at Facebook. In an interview he stated that Facebook are investing more into developers to make first-person shooters and real-time strategy games, adding:
"It doesn't mean we're walking away from other games, but there's no question our focus for 2013 much of it will be about becoming a better platform for core gamers and developers who make those games."
Facebook will initially focus on ten games which they hope will attract a core group of hardcore gamers and from then on will look to work with third-party developers to grow this area. Games such as Offensive Combat and Stormfall: Age of War are already playable on the site and are an indication of the direction Facebook is looking to expand into. The only game we have seen so far to be launched in 2013 is nWay’s ChronoBlade, an RPG flavoured beat-em-up. This is a good sign, as nWay are headed up by Dave Jones, he of Grand Theft Auto and APB fame/notoriety and, with Offensive Combat developers U4iA being headed up by former Activision exec Dusty Welch, we can already see there is the potential for a dearth of experience to shift over to making games for Facebook.