It's a known fact that today's most popular social games have either ripped pages from the playbooks of genres past or are direct renditions of games that got their start in the traditional gaming world. That said, the most influential social game makers have quite a bit of inspiration before the fountain runs dry. Here are five types of games that the likes of Zynga, EA, King.com and all the rest have yet to "borrow" from:
If there's one thing that Facebook needs, it's a decent Mario clone. (Not directly, of course.) It's not as if successful platformers haven't been done in the browser before--just look at the Fancy Pants Adventures series. Not to mention that Nintendo has already shown that social platformers are possible in New Super Mario Bros. U. And between character customization, new levels, power-ups and game modes, there's plenty to monetize. (Look, it's a necessary evil in free-to-play games.)
This one has already been done quite successfully on the web, with hits like Uberstrike on Facebook and Quake Live. However, the leading social game makers have yet to create Facebook's proverbial Call of Duty. With Flash support for the Unreal Engine, this can't be too far away.
The Kart Racer
It's true that one of the largest MMO companies in the world, Nexon, has already done this on Facebook in KartRider Dash. But sadly, it hasn't proved to be terribly successful. Isn't it about time the big league players swooped in and capitalized on this like they're so wont to do? A true, free Mario Kart competitor on Facebook ... make it happen.
A number of the social game makers with the most players have made real-time strategy games elsewhere, namely EA. So, with studios like Kixeye and Kabam raking in the cash on the genre on Facebook, why have the leaders yet to respond? This editor wants to see the esports-quality equivalent of Starcraft 2 on Facebook, and maybe it's up to a house like Zynga to make it happen ... or just publish it.
While we've seen even large gaming companies try this and fail--ahem, Gameloft--at least one developer needs to give this one an honest shot. Of all the categories, this is the ultimate no-brainer. Facebook games are essentially free-to-play MMOs on the incredibly light side, so just cross the line already.
What core or traditional gaming genres would like to see attempted on Facebook by the big leaguers? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
Joe Osborne is associate editor at Games.com News. Weekly in Social Space, Joe shares opinions and observations on the intersection of social gaming and traditional games. Follow him on Twitter here.