Monday, Mar. 22, 2010

Social Gaming

One new area where you'll see Facebook's new platform is in console video games. Developers showed off demos of games that had Facebook Connect built in, allowing you to share scores, statistics and even a personalized gaming highlight reel to your Facebook profile, direct from your Xbox 360 or Playstation. The latest generation of games on Apple's iPhone include the same sort of features, designed to let you share your achievements with friends.

But beyond that, the games themselves will become more social. In 2009, the success of games like Zynga's Farmville (estimated, by some counts, to have more players than Twitter has users) proved to developers that there's a winning strategy in targeting games less to gamers and more to users looking for fun ways to interact with their friends. And Farmville is really only ostensibly social — you can visit your friend's farm and offer rudimentary help, but that's about it. The next generation of online games — like the popular Bejeweled Blitz — will offer richer, more direct competition and game play between users.