Hi5's SocioPath will help social gamers and studios escape Facebook


Today during GDC Online, social game website hi5 announced SocioPath, a new platform designed to free social game developers from the clutches of Facebook. If you've been following, the website has become increasingly constrictive on gaming growth by first cutting their viral reach by reducing the amount of gaming stories that appear in feeds and recently changing the way games get discovered entirely. And President and CTO of hi5 Alex St. John has followed these developments very closely.

"Social media game developers and publishers are facing significant barriers to drive audience and revenue on social networks, and are struggling under the restrictions imposed on them by these portals," St. John said. "We're providing a platform that enables social game developers and publishers to be liberated from the walled garden social network, build their own communities around their games, and monetize them efficiently."

The social gaming website has already laid the groundwork earlier this year with support for Facebook-compatible APIs, meaning Facebook game developers can bring their games right over with little hassle. Over the coming months, hi5 will introduce SocioPath to select development partners like Digital Chocolate, Playdom, BigPoint, Ultima Online creator Richard Garriott's Portalarium and more so they can work to grow their communities on a platform that won't compete with their growth.

"We've already been experiencing early success with our title, PortCasino Poker, which has received five times more traffic on hi5 versus other social networks," said Garriott, co-founder and creative director at Portalarium. "We're looking forward to growing our relationship with hi5, bringing more of our games to the site, and leveraging their new platform to increase our audience."

With big time social games developers on board, it looks like hi5's SocioPath could definitely be a worthy adversary for Facebook in the games arena, but how these studios will entice their existing audiences (i.e. you) to join them on a new platform has yet to be seen. While a place where social gamers can share freely (and be noticed) again sounds good in our book, we doubt Facebook would appreciate developers luring so many gamers away through their own Facebook pages. Well, somebody has to break the news to the big Z.

Do you think hi5's SocioPath could compete with Facebook in the social games arena? Would you rather play your games on Facebook or move over to hi5? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

Originally published