Last summer Ubisoft released the friend trivia Facebook game Tick Tock. This past fall, EA bought the popular Facebook developer Playfish. Traditional gaming companies known for big budget console games like Rock Band and Madden aren’t just coming to Facebook, they’re already here.

Brad Nicholson of the gaming blog Destructoid has recently explored the evolution of traditional publishers trying to find their niche in the growing social marketplace. Speaking with a number of developers including PopCap and Zynga, Nicholson discussed a number of pertinent questions ranging from the impact these big publishers will have to the changes in focus they’ll need to make to survive.

John Vechy and Jon David, co-creators of the popular Facebook game Bejeweled Blitz, summed up the challenges faced by big publishers nicely;

“Large traditional publishers need to understand the space and conform their offerings accordingly, rather than trying to make the space conform to their offerings. So while you’ll probably never play Madden directly on Facebook the way you might play a head-to-head match on PC or console, a ‘general manager’-level mode or Madden-based fantasy league might do very well on social networks, and in fact introduce a large new audience to what has traditionally been a very ‘core’ sports sim.”

For more insight into this fascinating subject, read Brad Nicholson’s article Facebook: Publishers Pushing Boundaries on