Self-appointed ‘core’ gamers might point and scoff from their high horses at Facebook gaming, but hey, publishers of ‘core’ game franchises plainly see social network gaming as a big chunk of their future.
Take Epic Games. Speaking to Eurogamer, franchise director Rod Fergusson revealed the company was open-minded about developing a Gears of War Facebook game that ties in with the home console version:
“We don’t have anything I can announce or say we’re planning, but from a theory perspective, yeah, absolutely. Much like why we do a comic book and the novels, these are brand extensions that introduce people to the intellectual property in the hope that something hooks them and will bring them to the game. Just by the pure popularity of social and mobile gaming now, those are audiences we can be tapping. It’s about getting people exposed to your IP. For Epic, we’re new and on the cusp of that, and we’re just starting to dabble in those sorts of things.”
While fanboys take umbrage and moan about tie-ins to ‘core’ franchises appearing on platforms they arrogantly deem to be for ‘casual’ gamers, publishers obviously see Facebook as an increasingly viable platform for games.
Earlier this week, Ratchet & Clank developer Insomniac announced they were developing games for social networks, while BioWare, Ubisoft and EA have already published games or game tie-ins on the social networking site. None of which is surprising – after all, Facebook’s 500 million-strong userbase is bigger than the Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo DS userbases combined.