After a year that saw Zynga’s house of rapidly-acquired cards tumble in spectacular fashion, Facebook have pledged the next year in support of making the social network “a better platform for core gamers and developers who make those games”. That means more first-person shooters, real-time strategy games and the like.
"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," Facebook game partnerships chief Sean Ryan told Reuters.
"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."
u4ia’s “ultimate mash-up” FPS is pretty enough - an apparently straightforward arena shooter, but one which will reportedly encourage players to draw on their “creativity and ingenuity” reserves to win. And it has that cross-platform tablet play thing that’s in vogue, which should help keep its players numbers hovering above the point of no return. “got pwn?” reads an in-game billboard, unhelpfully.
Stormfall features a “classic real-time strategy interface” (woo), as well as daily battle events and regular updates that might put it in the same bracket as Age of Empires Online (concept: woo, execution: hmm). Creators Plarium are hardly a breath of fresh air in this field, though - their social take on the RTS and fondness of subtitles has been a part of Facebook for as long as Total Domination: Nuclear Strategy and Pirates: Tides of Fortune have existed. Play them for an idea of where this might wind up.
There’s a familiar name behind this one, with attendant mixed feelings. Dave Jones was a founding father of the GTA series, but also the man who steered Realtime Worlds through the lengthy development of APB and an obnoxiously expensive company implosion. Chronoblade is an action RPG evil-biffing sim with PvP, co-op and, yes, cross-platform pugilation with iDevices. It looks quite nice in motion:
The initiative is part of a larger plan to get more of Facebook’s users playing its games than the current one-in-four. Recent financial results showed that games revenue for the company has lately stopped growing. Do you think these are the games to fix that?