Strategy Games Break Out on Facebook

Date: Jul 07 2010 07:56:58 Source:
KeyWord: Facebook, strategy, break out, evony, Verdonia
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Back to 2009, that was a year for farm games on Facebook. Games such as Farmville, Happy Farm, Fantasy Farm and lots of others were flooding the Facebook. But when the time wheel rolls into 2010, things changes. Maybe the success of the Evony-like games had inspired the developers - they began to start an age of strategy games on Facebook.

That's funny. How could these games with complex gameplay and hard-core-based theme get success on Facebook, which is a place most for light users?

Chris Morrison on Inside Social Games made his research on this.

After an instruction to current strategy games on Facebook, he picked Playdom's Verdonia and the Evony as the examples:

"I think what's interesting there is that you have a lot of people trying it out," Quarles, Playdom's CFO said. "It's at least demonstrative that there's really a harder core audience out there. The initial art for the game, even, is not puppy dogs with big eyes. It's medieval knights with swords. It validates our opinion, which is that there are harder core gamers on Facebook."

"One problem for Verdonia may be a lack of continuing engagement from its new players. Although new monthly actives are streaming in, daily active users have been tough for the game to hold on to. Here's a view of the game's DAU as a percentage of MAU: "

Evony is also a good example of how a game with fewer users than a more typical farming or sim game can be successful. Its users tend to have more discretionary income than other Facebook players, according to Higa, and they play a lot: three hours a day on average, to be specific.

He said:

"Mixing Facebook gaming with MMO-style play is certainly an attractive concept to other companies. What's missing is the merger between typical MMO activities - like playing for a long time - and the quick-play style of Facebook that developers use to encourage players to pay for virtual goods. Evony, though, should offer some encouragement to others who want to make a more complex game.

And quoted the words from game producer Darold Higa:

"This may come from my gaming background, but I think that like movies, television and literature, if you create with the idea that you'll only appeal to the lowest common denominator, you may be successful in the short run. But the entertainment that really appeals to people has a lot of depth," said Higa. "People tend to dumb down content with the idea that it will reach that magical mass market. I think, if you have a really good game and you put it in front of the mass market, you may be surprised at how many people engage it."

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