Merscom has announced plans to combine casual gaming and social media networking by developing games for Facebook. The company currently has eight Facebook/social media games in development, all of which are scheduled for release later this year or in early 2010.

According to a press release, Merscom already has relationships in place with the five largest offer providers in North America, two largest European offer providers, top two direct pay merchants, top US and top European mobile payment provider and a leading offer analytics firm.

Merscom has worked with media giants including CBS, Starz, Paramount, Lifetime, National Geographic and Showtime to produce casual PC download games based on media properties including Righteous Kill, Blood Ties, The Tudors, Wisegal, and Nat Geo Adventures: Lost City of Z.

Merscom was the first casual game company to integrate successfully media properties into casual games and already has agreements with many of these partners to use some of their IP in the social space.

While casual games initially meant creating games for people who are definitely not “gamers,” social games and social media now make virtually anyone in the world a gamer just by their participation in a social network like Facebook, MySpace, and vKontakte, according to Merscom.

“With tens of millions of monthly users of social networking games like Farmville, Mafia Wars, and Sorority Life, it is evident that social users are ready for and receptive to game content,” added Lloyd Melnick, Chief Customer Officer at Merscom.

As part of the move into social media, Merscom has named serial entrepreneur Greg Pool its EVP Social Media.Pool previously self-published one of the first commercial Facebook games and built, published and sold an MMO with over four hundred thousand players. Pool most recently worked with the Piedmont Angel Network.

“Merscom was the first casual game company to integrate successfully media properties into casual games,” said Pool.”It is the intent of Merscom to fuse gaming content to social media in such a way that social networkers find the full of experience of casual gaming.” .