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World of Facebook

Posted by garrett Wednesday May 26 2010 at 8:48AM
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World of Facebook
This week I wrote an editorial on how FTP and Casual games are now being designed as virtual shopping malls.  I guess my continuation to that article is here. I once heard that Facebook will be the WoW killer, interesting right?
First of all the game industry needs to get passed the WoW Killer mindset. There is no WoW killer. Like all Blizzard games WoW will go on for years and years. They will be making money on WoW in 2019 at its 15 year anniversary. It is the game that defined the genre, the end.
However, Facebook has made huge leaps and bounds in the last few years with social networking. Old friends re-united. Affairs spring up, marriages are ruined, all blamed on Facebook. Hurray welcome to the human race online. It is no different than offline.
Facebook is simply a tool to define a generation. Just like the Internet did 10 years before. Now we have access to people’s everyday lives, if they choose to share them online. So my big question is…. How is this a game?
Sure there is Farmville, Petville, Mafia Wars, and all that fun stuff. However, we have yet to see a fully functional MMO, persistent world, boss fights, PvP, seige, death match, explosion that operates within the boundries of Facebook. Will it ever happen? Well some game companies, even some big names in MMOs are starting to try and make it work.
Will we see an in depth MMO on Facebook in the near future? Yes. Will it take us away from our work days? Yes. The question is what will it be? My hope and the reason I wrote this blog is we see something that is fun, bottom line. Many of the Facebook games right now are just grinds and virtual malls. Hopefully someone will build a game that challenges us and gives us a reason to reconnect with our old D&D groups.
Just my two cents for the week…
tcuvillier writes:

It won't work. At least not for the next decades. Most gamers I know separate their real lives and gaming lives, for a non-gamer playing a MMORPG is too geeky and they'll laugh at anyone who does.  

Wed May 26 2010 10:52AM Report
just1opinion writes:

Interesting article. Particularly the part about WoW "defining the genre. the end." I don't think I need to get into why I don't agree with you, because I tire of the argument being a constant around here. Your opinion is as valid as mine. So let's just say we disagree on that one point.


And....while I "get" your opinion...Facebook games, just like WoW, are the "greatest thing EVAAAR" to some of the people that "play" them. Yeah, I know...I don't understand it either, but that's neither here nor there.


What I think is one of the biggest problems in the seemingly complete inability of some people to simply understand that we NEED all different KINDS of games because there are all different kinds of people. WoW serves a purpose, EQ2 serves a purpose, EVE serves a purpose, etc...and yes....Facebook games cater to yet even ANOTHER crowd of people. And some of these markets also overlap with each other.


I know it's hard to believe (really...I find it hard to believe too) but some people don't think Farmville is a boring grind married to a virtual mall. My ex mother in law, for one, loves it. And I know a lot of other people that do too. I...think it's utterly ridiculous and for me it's not a game at ALL, but I'm one person, and just like with WoW....millions of people disagree.


So, you know...who am I to deny someone the enjoyment of their preferred game?  I certainly don't want them messing with MINE....

Wed May 26 2010 11:39AM Report
Samhael writes:

I just don't get Facebook. It seems pointless and virus-ridden. I've passed on any contest, etc. that requires "friending" on Facebook.  It's just a waste of space and is already waning in popularity.

Wed May 26 2010 6:04PM Report
shava writes:

I blogged about the WoW killer "too big to fail" assumption here on Gamasutra:

As a game developer there are really good (business, asthetic, user need) answers to why sites/games like Facebook or WoW shouldn't be copied, and why they are vulnerable to failure.

Thu May 27 2010 1:49AM Report
Rockgod99 writes:

I use facebook to talk to my friends that live across the country.

All the little minigames attatched are just an optional bonus.

I honestly don't see an issue with software that lets people reconnect.

People all over give Facebook shit and I think its just more "lets bash it because its popular".

Thu May 27 2010 6:29AM Report
Delvie writes:

I remember when AOL came into being., and when Yahoo took off -  Facebook is just the next generation.  For people who don't remember being able to play card games with friends and strangers who were located all over the place was leading edge technology.  The difference here is that Facebook has opened up the system enough that companies can monetize what they are doing without relying solely on Facebook.


Now Farmville is another matter - basically what they've done is put persistence into a flash game.  Is it everyone's cup of tea?  Nope - but it is persistence which is a new thing in the casual game market.  The fact that you can arrange your farm as you wish and it will all still be there the next time you visit, no matter where you log in from, is big.  That it's all wrapped up in a grind game doesn't matter.


The other huge thing about Farmville is that it has competition without combat.  And that competition is with people you usually know in real life.  I always thought my mom was one of the least competitive people I knew - guess again.  I've watched members of my family resort to 'spying' and trying to figure out how others are levelling .


I think what's happening is that a whole group of people are now discovering the joys of online gaming in a new way.  In the end this will increase the overall games market which can only be a good thing. 

Thu May 27 2010 10:09AM Report writes:
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