Will copycats run the Facebook games industry into the ground?

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copycatWe sure as hell hope not. (We like having a job, thank you very much.) It's a common complaint lobbed at the social games industry: It's all the same games. If you ask this writer, the complaint isn't entirely unfounded, but does it spell the end of what would be a short-lived genre? Gamasutra posed that question to a few notables in the social games world recently.

"Part of why we're not attracting the hearts and minds of the core gamer on Facebook is that a lot of these games are kind of the same," Kixeye founder and CEO Will Harbin told Gamasutra. "There are a ton of strategy games, there are a lot of city building games, there are now a ton of mafia games again. It's just kind of more and more of the same."

Harbin recently defended his company from accusations by new studio Rumble Games that all of Kixeye's games are the same as well as Kabam and Zynga's. "You criticize us for that, then you can criticize EA, Blizzard, Activision and all of the guys for the same thing," Harbin told us. "There are only so many genres that have proven to work time and time again, and it's based on what consumers want."

Other executives echoed Harbin's sentiments, like Pocket Gems COO Ben Liu, but said that there's only one way to prevent copycatting from effectively destroying the industry. "Emotionally it bothers us [when we see copycats] but we feel like our best defense is to continue to be innovative," Liu said to Gamasutra.

A number of start-ups have promised a new era, a renaissance of Facebook games in 2012 that will not only bring new types of games to the social network, but new types of gamers, to boot. The question is, however, when the most guilty culprits are those with the most pull, how much good will that do? Check out the in-depth feature in full right here.

Are you tired of seeing copycat social games on Facebook and elsewhere? Do you think, if it continues, that it could mean the end for the industry? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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