Facebook, while known for its casual games, could soon be the home of hardcore game experiences.
Action-focused games with detailed graphics aren’t common on the social media platform, as games like Farmville tend to dominate users’ time.
Facebook is pushing an initiative to help get more hardcore games to not only exist, but thrive on Facebook’s ecosystem, spearheading the launch of 10 high-quality games created by third-part developers, that will target the hardcore market.
“You’ll see a whole set of games hitting in the next two quarters in particular and throughout the year that really start to redefine what people think of Facebook games,” said Sean Ryan, head of game partnerships at Facebook.
Facebook will embrace games from “casual all the way up through first-person shooters, massively multiplayer online games, real-time strategy games – all those types of more core player-versus-player games.”
Facebook hopes to add a layer of multiplayer gaming, much like that on Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PSN platforms.
Facebook is working closely with developers and publishers to bring games like u4iA’s first-person shooter “Offensive Combat” and Plaruim’s real-time strategy game “Stormfall: Age of War” to Facebook.
“It doesn’t mean we’re walking away from other games, but there’s no question our focus for 2013 much of it will be about becoming a better platform for core gamers and developers who make those games,” said Ryan.
San Francisco-based nWay began trialling its dark sci-fi game Chronoblade on Facebook in 2012, and Chief Creative Officer Dave Jones was thoroughly impressed.
“First of all, what comes is, ‘Wow, I had no idea you could actually do a game of this quality on Facebook,’” said Jones, who has worked on the Diablo and GTA series.
Despite some scepticism from investors and partners, Jones is confident that the Facebook platform is a viable channel for hardcore games.
“Like ‘Super Mario’ did for Nintendo or ‘Halo’ on Microsoft, I think it just takes one title to come along, sort of as a benchmark to legitimize the whole thing,” said Jones.