And here you thought MySpace was dead. Justin Timberlake--yes, the guy who played the founder of Napster in that Faceobok movie--and Specific Media have overhauled the once-ailing social network. Of course, J.T.'s new single is front and center, as is the focus on music. Admittedly, music discovery became the primary function for MySpace in its later life, but this new version is missing something.
Games. At the moment, there are no games on the new-and-improved social network, and it doesn't seem like that's the direction the network is headed toward. Instead, the new MySpace focuses almost solely on music. You know, the industry that has evolved more rapidly than almost any other in entertainment in the past five years? The one that's already dominated by Spotify, Pandora, Last.fm, Rdio, Grooveshark and more?
Yeah, that one. You know who runs social games these days? Facebook (and a number of miniscule networks by comparison). While gaming on Facebook is arguably unmatched, it's only one form of competition. So, why did J.T. and crew decide to attack a market in which they're beset on all sides by competitors, rather than focus on one enormous competitor. Beats me. Wouldn't you much rather go after one contender that you can dismantle down to every little feature with a better product?
Frankly, the social gaming industry needs some healthy competition if not on a Western, then a global scale. Social gaming, at least as far as interface and infrastructure is concerned, hasn't evolved in a long time. We're still sharing in the same, binary way. We're still
not discovering the same old games due to poor algorithms and rating systems. Basically, we're not playing games on Facebook in any way that utilizes the network in some game-changing way.
MySpace had the opportunity to change that, to excel where Google+ failed. Just looking at the discovery tools provided in the new website, games could benefit immensely from simply what's trending around the web, rather than how players rate games or how simply how many players are in a given game. Will the MySpace team realize that it has a golden goose sitting in its lap? Well, it ought to, because if this whole music thing doesn't pan out, it could be "Game Over" for good.
What do you think of the new MySpace? Do you see the golden opportunity for games? 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.