Facebook's Sean Ryan: 'I think Google's a viable competitor'

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Sean Ryan FacebookSo, the heat is on then, huh? During an interview with Gamasutra, Facebook's Director of Games Partnerships Sean Ryan (pictured far right) called Google a "viable competitor," likely referring to its all but confirmed Google+ Games effort. Ryan, who joined the company six months ago, has big plans for Facebook and its role as a games platform. And he's not afraid of Google nor the massive Japanese social game companies DeNA and Gree, who bought Ngmoco and OpenFeint, respectively.

"At the end of the day, we're not so much about a game network," Ryan said to Gamasutra. "We're about the social graph, and everything you can do through it. So there's no reason we can't partner with everybody. We're a very partner-driven organization in general. It's just a matter of trying to figure out how that makes sense to both parties."

In other words, Facebook could just offer DeNA and Gree deals that they couldn't possibly refuse, though that's speculation at best. Facebook has some more ... concrete plans when it comes to how it will handle games on the platform from here on out. Well, at least Ryan knows what's best. First of all, the landscape for Facebook games has changed, and the copycat games must go.

It's no question it is harder to break into the top ten, just like it is in any business," Ryan told Gamasutra. "What we're seeing is, I don't think you can, right now, put out a clone of a clone of a clone and be successful. There's no question. You need to put out a well-targeted, well-designed game." (Can somebody say, "hallelujah?")

Better yet, Ryan and his team are considering a "concept of a lighter-weight social layer, that you and I can be friends without necessarily being friends," he told Gamasutra. For more on what Ryan thinks of the state of gaming on Facebook, check out in the interview in full here.

[Image Credit: Liz Mangelsdorf]

What do you think of Ryan's ideas and thoughts for Facebook gaming and its competitors? Do you think Ryan can turn Facebook into a more effective games platforms? Answer in the comments. Add Comment.
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