"There's not a graphic arms race here. There's an art quality arms race, but nobody is racing to bigger, better, more polygons. People are playing these games on their lunch break at office computers with no administrative access. That means don't give me stupid plugins. That means not radically reinventing the wheel."
Brenda Brathwaite of Loot Drop said this in an interview with Inside Social Games recently. While it's not exactly shocking news, it sure gives us a better of idea of where most social game designers might be focused. In other words, it would be safe to assume that innovations in the genre aren't coming in the form of interfaces or graphics, but in art style and payment models. However, tell that to studios like EA who seem to have embraced 3D graphics as the future of Facebook games.
"Change needs to happen in very small increments," Brathwaite said to Inside Social Games, "so that people don't show up to your game and go 'Ew'." In short, don't expect any groundbreaking revolutions to how friends are incorporated into the game screen anytime, if Brathwaite has anything to say on the matter. But according to her, the biggest innovation has everything to do with increasing that 10 percent of paying customers without killing the fun of the game.