This article was published on August 29, 2011

Facebook wants to mimic consoles, host wider ranging selection of games

Facebook wants to mimic consoles, host wider ranging selection of games

In order to tempt more users to its platform, Facebook wants to start hosting a wide-ranging selection of games including first-person shooters, sports and social games like those found on consoles, the company’s global head of game partnerships Sean Ryan told popular gaming site MCV.

Ryan believes Facebook’s range of games is purely down to the fact that its gaming platform is only three and a half years old, noting that the social network doesn’t “yet have that type of breadth” compared to the offerings on Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo consoles:

“That’s because we are young – we are only three and a half years old. We are a pure platform – we don’t invest in games or make them. But we ask ourselves how we can make games like a football manager title rise up and become a success. There is a range of sophisticated games we want to get on our platform.”

Facebook is already making moves into the console market with Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony already utilising the company’s Social Graph API to allow gamers to post messages or pictures to their accounts.

Look at the earnings announcements from Take-Two and EA – and even Activision now. They are talking about the move to social. Does it cause a problem for them? I’m not sure. In the last 20 years we have seen the expansion of the game business from what used to be young boys to young men, to now everybody; women and men of all ages. Gaming is no longer seen as something you do by yourself.

Everybody games, just at different levels. What Facebook does through social games, as Apple and Google have done in mobile, is broadening the types of users who play games. So is this a challenge for the traditional companies? It’s an opportunity.

Ryan wants to bridge the gap between gamers that play Facebook games during the day and console games on a console, stating that “there is no question the hours spent on Facebook have to come from somewhere and that may mean eating into other traditional gaming areas.”