Recently at GDC, EA Playfish’s Creative Director, Ray Mazza, talked a little about what drives Facebook users to try out the games that their friends are playing. To be more specific, Mazza pointed out that the now-defunct games ticker on Facebook was responsible for 93% of the early referral traffic that reached their popular Facebook game, Sims Social.
Without the ticker, says Mazza, social games will go from being a “competition for people’s eyeballs” to a competition for people’s interest. In other words, new players will be wooed towards social games depending on the posts that their friends choose to share. Mazza admitted that Sims Social players are particularly fond of trumpeting their Sims’ intimate moments with each other (when they “make WooHoo,” cough, cough).
Unsurprisingly, this form of promotion is “the strongest Wall post [Sims Social] has,” according to Mazza. He also believes that’s the kind of player-grabbing “advertising” that social developers should be aiming for with the promotional methods they employ in the future.
“We want to see drama between players, we want to see amazing creations, and we want to hear what’s really on players’ minds when they’re making these posts.”