Facebook’s New Strategic Approach

Facebook’s New Strategic Approach

Strategy games are hot in 2010, according to Inside Social Games. Citing Appdata numbers (which are the exact same numbers as those recorded by Facebook, unless we’re missing something), the most popular and fastest growing games appear to titles with a tactical bent. From Verdonia (3 million MAUs) to Nanostar Seige, Backyard Monsters and Evony, what can we say: Social network strategy games are hot!

As for farming games? In the words of Bruno, “nicht!” FarmVille is riding high, but has lost 20% of its steam over the past few months. None of the hundreds of farming games released this year on Facebook are gaining traction. People are either getting bored of raising crops in the same way I got bored of my home garden after a few months, or there are so many farming games to choose from, people can’t pick one to stay with.

Inside Social Games’ full analysis is here.

My take? A shift from farming to strategy games is a shift from a casual to a more hardcore audience. With less free viral marketing, it makes sense that the games that would gain popularity are the ones that appeal to more hardcore players who don’t need the notifications to be nudged to keep on playing.

Don’t worry, however, casual gamers. There are still more people playing FarmVille than all the most popular strategy games combined. The second most popular game is Zynga Poker, another casual title.

Finally, let me take it to the next level and predict the next big craze in Facebook games. It’s virtual pets/Sims-like games such as Playdom’s most recent release, Fanglies. That’s because games like this are perfect for Facebook’s social graph and can extend to offline merchandising revenues, away from Facebook’s clutches.

And there is nothing more casual than virtual pets games. Just ask Nintendo, home of simulated dogs and Pokemon.

Editor’s Note: To read more articles by Joel Brodie, be sure to visit Gamezebo.com.

About Joel Brodie
Joel Brodie is the founder of casual game reviews site Gamezebo.com, a leading online magazine which offers coverage of the latest game downloads, including news and analysis on the casual game download, social gaming and free-to-play businesses.

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