Arkadium Stadium is an interesting experiment. It’s a collection of small Facebook games that, in addition to being playable in an app, can also be played on a wall. It’s a unique idea that piqued our interest when we previewed the game earlier this week, so we just had to find out more about it. Luckily we got a chance to speak with Arkadium president and co-founderJessica Rovello about “wall play” and why it might just be the next big thing for Facebook gaming.
Why do you think that Facebook walls are a good space for games?
We’ve been hearing for years that Facebook games aren’t really social. We thought we could solve that conundrum by bringing games directly into the feed. By playing games, commenting on them, and sharing them directly on your wall they become a more relevant and relatable part of your social experience. It’s a natural extension that I’m surprised took this long to surface. Games are media, just like photos and videos, and our hope is that users start thinking of them that way, rather than as walled off play experiences.
What are the advantages to having a game on a wall as opposed to in an app?
Arkadium Stadium lets you do both—play in the app or play on a wall. The fact that players can wall play reduces friction and makes discovery of new content a lot easier. Can you imagine if you had to permit and install a new app every time you wanted to see a friend’s photo? Wall play is a much more integrated experience than we’ve seen with games to date. Once players know that they like a game they can then decide if they want to engage with it more seriously by going to the app, saving their scores and competing against friends directly.
How did you decide which games to include in Arkadium Stadium?
Arkadium has been creating great casual games for the past 10 years, and we have a library of 300+ titles. We launched Arkadium Stadium with a mix of our popular titles and those that we thought made sense for wall play—games that can be played daily and make sense to share with your friends.
Did you come across any difficulties in creating game experiences that are playable on a wall in addition to an app?
We had to be mindful to select games that were easily played even at a condensed size. We added a full screen option to insure that players didn’t feel constrained to playing on a small screen if they wanted a fuller experience.
Do you think that all sorts of game experiences are suited to being played on a wall? Why or why not?
Casual games are definitely more suited for this implementation. Any complex game that had a lot of graphic requirements, a long tutorial, or small UI features might not work as well because the Facebook wall is really meant for short, easy experiences. When you read/comment on your friend’s status, watch a video, or comment on a picture on a wall, it’s quick and simple. Wall play should be the same.
Are there any plans to expand the line-up of games available in Arkadium Stadium?
Absolutely, we have 300+ titles to choose from. In the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out more games and features to Arkadium Stadium. We plan on adding new features and games every 2-3 weeks.
Do you think that this feature is something that could catch on and eventually make its way into other apps/games as well?
Definitely. Wall play is a true innovation for social games and something that no other gaming company has explored to date. I fully expect to see it copied—great ideas always are!