Zynga's Brian Reynolds explains why console developers fail on Facebook

Brian Reynolds, Zynga's chief games designer, sure seems to have an opinion on everything, and Industry Gamers has been there to hear every bit of it. His most recent take on the social games industry offers up his opinions on triple-a game designers - like those responsible for Call of Duty, or other major console games - and why they fail when it comes to making social games.

According to Reynolds, console game developers that decide to jump into the Facebook arena do so in a backwards fashion.

"You can't just go write... Call of Duty and add Facebook functionality. You've got to make a game that's about socializing, make social the core of what you're inventing, and then build the game around that. Mostly where I see triple-A people or developers trying to get into social and then failing is where they say, 'We're just going to take game X and kind of give it a little bit of Facebook plumbing and that'll be great.'"
He goes on to explain that in order to be successful, game designers need to forget about the "triple-A" game factors, and build a social game, with core social mechanics, before they ever add in the elements that make for a great experience. He says that in order to succeed, developers need to "come in and really learn social qua social and bring their immense decades of experience to improve it from there."

It's true that many console developers have failed when it comes to creating games for the social sphere, but with games like Dragon Age: Legends, could we finally be turning a corner for good?

[Image Credit: IGN]

What do you think of Reynolds ideas? Should console developers, looking to get into the social space, work first on their games' social game mechanics before ever giving them a story? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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