Facebook gaming's fat cats will only get fatter, unfortunately

Fat Cat
Fat Cat

Companies like Zynga and EA (with the help of Playfish and PopCap) have long dominated the Facebook game scene. Sadly, it looks like that's not going to change anytime soon, according to a report released by Lazard Capital Markets. Basically, the report comes to the conclusion that, because they've already achieved critical mass, Zynga and EA will continue to rule Facebook games.

The report is based on meetings with six privately-held social game makers, including CrowdStar, Digital Chocolate, Funzio, HeyZap, IGG, and Tapjoy, according to All Facebook. "We acknowledge that toughening competition on Facebook could constrain margins and is generally negative for the space; however," the report reads, "we believe that rising user acquisition costs could be relatively positive for companies like Zynga and Electronic Arts that have already built large user bases on Facebook and disproportionately benefit from network effect and, therefore, may have an advantage over the newer companies in the space."

In other words, Zynga and EA will always competitive advantage over even relatively large companies like CrowdStar simply due to the fact that these companies already have created massive internal networks of players. This is exactly why no other company could release a game that amasses 5 million players in six days like CastleVille. The smaller developers' response?

Look elsewhere, basically. But when the majority of social gamers hang out on Facebook, where else is there to look? It's quite the predicament that the industry faces, especially considering the implications it could have as far as creativity is concerned on the platform. Developers will continue to create games that attempt to emulate Zynga and EA's wild success, and the copycat syndrome will persist. If the indie's time on Facebook is over, then all the hope we have for successful games that test the limits of the genre is for the players to grow tired of 'Ville after 'Ville.

Are you sick of the current stable of popular Facebook games? What new approaches or genres would you like to see on Facebook? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

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