Sean Ryan, the “games” guy at Facebook, gave a presentation on Facebook ecosystem at Casual Connect. According to Sean, social games have “won,” given the fact that the only game companies to sell out for a high price (more than $100 million) or going public are social game companies. Citing Zynga, Playfish, Playdom, Open Feint, PopCap Games, he raises a good point.
More interestingly, Sean pontificated on the game genres he wish he’d see more of on Facebook.
First of all, hidden object games. Hidden object games rule the downloadable space and are getting huge on the iPad, but there are only two hidden object games on Facebook now: Mystery Manor and Gardens in Time. Both are very successful. Sean thinks there should be as many hidden object games on Facebook as you see on a casual games downloadable portal.
Other up-and-coming game genres on Facebook are casino (Slot Mania, DoubleDown Casino) and what he calls mid-core games. Mid-core games are what I would call hard-core games, specifically, strategy games like Empires & Allies and Army Attack. Increasingly, games on Facebook are designed to appeal to hard core gamers, as evidenced by the titles by Kabam and Kiseye.
Here is a list of game genres that Sean thinks will be the next big thing, but are not represented well on Facebook yet:
- Romance: $1.2 billion business, and fastest genre of novels on e-readers
- Role Playing Games
- Urban: African Americans index much higher than other groups in social networks
- First person shooters
In other Facebook news, Gareth Davis, the mobile guy at Facebook, had a presentation where he said that there are 5 billion mobiles in the world now. If there are 6 billion people, my question is who are the 1 billion people without mobiles? The other interesting insight he provided is how committed Facebook is to HTML 5. Not only is Facebook building HTML 5 components in their native apps also in their Web pages, so that it all fits together. Most people at the show believe HTML 5 is too early, but the fact FAcebook is so invested in it means it should be taken quasi-seriously.
Finally, there was a bit of Facebook-Zynga controversy yesterday. Zynga released a revised S1 document and AllThingsD read the entire thing (over 600 pages) and reported that there is a special advertising deal between Zynga and Facebook where Facebook shares ad revenue with Zynga on Facebook pages. As it turns out, the real deal (as stated by Facebook) is that if Zynga plans to release their games on their own web site, Facebook has the option to partner with Zynga to sell ads on Zynga’s site.
It’s a moot point because there is no Zynga site yet. But it suggests that there is more to the Zynga-Facebook deal than meets the eye.
My dear thanks to the hapless intern at AllThingsD whose job it is to read every page of the Zynga S1. I…I just follow AllThingsD.