Facebook has been known for its social games and the tie-ins that big publishers tend to link to their core home console and PC franchises, but the leaders of the company are ready to see core titles launched on the social platform in the coming year.
Matt Wyndowe, who is the games product manager working at Facebook
, has told Games Industry International that, “Games are extremely important to us at Facebook. As early as 2010 we didn’t have a dedicated games team and now we have 40-plus people working full-time on games. Games are something our users love and our users engage with and they enjoy playing with friends.”
He added, “I think what you’ve seen this year that’s interesting is the emergence of games with extremely high production value. We’re really focusing on quality and focusing on less traditionally mainstream audiences.”
The executive believes that the free-to-play model and the social aspects will remain a part of Facebook gaming, but players will be able to enjoy experiences that are close to those offered by home consoles, with complex mechanics and attractive stories.
Wyndowe has also said that those who are in charge of high-profile franchises, like Call of Duty or FIFA or World of Warcraft, are present on Facebook and are seeking to interact with their friends, which might mean that sooner or later they will also create games that they can play on the platform.
The fortunes of Facebook
have been linked to those of Zynga, the company that dominates the social and casual markets, and both have performed worse than expected since they introduced their IPOs.
Zynga has made moves to separate its gaming operations and transfer them to another site, but it’s unclear whether social gaming can exist separate from the biggest platform for interaction in the online world.