Playdom has quietly released Verdonia, a new strategy game on Facebook. Here’s a description from the game page:

“Verdonia is a strategy game that allows you to build your own Kingdom. As the head of the Kingdom, it is up to you to decide if your Kingdom is to live in peaceful coexistence with others, or if you rather engage them in warfare in order to grow.”

Based on Facebook metrics, Playdom is a Top 5 social games company. Like most social game companies, they have released games that are derivatives of other popular games (“clones,” as some in the game press would say).

But, they have proven that they are willing to experiment and bring game genres successful in the mainstream video game world onto Facebook. Social City is a “social” version of Sim City/Civilization. And Verdonia looks to be a “social” version of Age of Empires/Civilization.

Playdom’s strategy to move up the ranks of social games companies is not to release multiple versions of farming or pet simulation games, but to actually innovate and take a risk in the games they produce. Personally, I think it’s a good bet; time will tell how players respond.