Licensed Facebook games about to explode, Schell Games CEO says

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Jesse SchellConfirming a long-time running trend, CEO of game developer Schell Games--the folks behind The Mummy Online--Jesse Schell (pictured) told GamesIndustry.biz he believes that branding and licensed content will be the next big thing in social games. And if the past few games we've previewed are any indication, he just might be right. Schell has been in the game for a long time, previously working with Disney on their browser-MMO Toon Town before he opened his own studio to develop online games in 2002.

Apparently, social games will follow in console gaming's footsteps, according to Schell. "That's how it always goes with videogames, " Schell said. "They always start out with no licensed IP, then some people start to float with it - and then usually licensed IP becomes about 50 percent of any game platform, in terms of where the money comes from. I think there's a lot of room for that with social games."

Like we said, this is kind of old news (but 50 percent?). Branding through Facebook games has been a growing trend for quite a while now, but the question is whether studios like Schell Games will do the source materials in question justice. There's a huge opportunity here to make some truly interesting social games backed by long-standing brands and licenses. Thankfully, Schell raises a good point that developers new to Facebook should understand.

"I often tell people that if they've not sure what platform they should be on, then their idea might not be strong enough - because a lot of things that really succeed have a lot to do with the platform," Schell said. In other words, don't bring your award-winning license to Facebook unless you know what the platform is capable of.

Let's just hope that developers don't take Schell's advice too close to heart. Everyone knows we certainly don't need to see Mega Man working as a farmhand. Thankfully, some of the big league studios know better. For better or worse, even more signs are pointing recognizable brands to Facebook.

[Image Credit: Pittsburgh Business Times]

What do you think of the recent surge of branded and/or licensed games on Facebook? What brand would like to see come to social gaming next? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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