Opinion: What does Disney buying Playdom mean?
1. The Facebook gaming phenomenon is about to get even hotter.
Big companies (Viacom, Sony, Activision) are going to look to make their presence felt or feel like they are being left behind. No one wants the music to stop and be left without a seat to the dance. Or worse, stretch and make a purchase like AOL did with Bebo. More money will be poured in and CEOs of companies will be asked by their boards "We pay you big bucks to know what's going on? Where is your FarmVille?"
2. Look for the next acquisition to be CrowdStar.
Not because it's the next largest games company but because they have the best quality games with the highest engagement. CrowdStar has the best relationship with Facebook of the remaining game developers. They have been the guinea pig for Facebook credits, have not been spending wildly on acquisitions and continue to just make good, solid Facebook games. (See Happy Aquarium and Happy Pets) While I haven't heard any rumors they are available, it stands to reason that they are going to get offered huge money and may not be able to resist the buy out.
3. Big branded Intellectual Properties (IP) will make their way on to Facebook.
Big brands on Facebook has been a trend predicted by Kristian Segerstråle of Playfish in March at GDC and John Pleasants of Playdom just last week at Casual Connect. Disney with it's stable of classic characters from Mickey Mouse to Hannah Montana or Jack Sparrow on through Wolverine will be able to unleash a parade of branded games if they so chose. Think about it, would you play a superhero game that is like Mobsters by Playdom but set in the Marvel Universe? I can already hear comic book nerds drooling in anticipation.
4. Facebook will have to acknowledge that it is a gaming platform at some level.
Facebook lucked into the gaming just like the iPhone. They had no idea gaming would be within the top two or three things people do on Facebook. Since the app platform opened up in 2007 Facebook has made concerted efforts to deal with the gaming explosion. Most of the changes negatively affected game developers. Finally it may be time for Facebook to learn to stop worrying and embrace the gaming bomb. Gaming is a an integral part of Facebook and the viral channels Facebook provides are integral to game developers, the relationship is going to have to be repaired for both to move forward. If Facebook turns its back on the game developers, the developers will find new avenues of distribution. (As many companies are betting on see Hi5 and Oberon) Without the games, one could argue, Facebook would not be half the size it is today and certainly would not have the revenue.
Am I right? Am I wrong? Am I crazy? Leave a note in the comments below.