It is an undeniable fact that out of the 500 million population on Facebook, a large share of people use the site to play their favorite games with their friends. Facebook literally changed the meaning of multi-player games, and brought forward the concept of social gaming, i.e, playing along with your friends, competing with them at every level. This is evident from the plethora of games and applications that are available on Facebook which encourage social gaming. The best example, perhaps, is the most successful game/application on Facebook, called Farmville. The game, developed by Zynga, has over 80 million registered players, and more than 65% of the registered users are still active, largely due to the fact that they want to beat their friends at farming.
Revenue from such gaming applications bolsters Facebook’s coffins, and it seems to be in an effort to further increase its share, by bringing forward its own line-up of games. Facebook recently acquired the stealth gaming start-up Wallatin, founded by Cory Ondrejka and Bruce Rogers, effectively hiring them both as well. Ondrejka was the CTO of Linden Lab, the company behind the popular MMO Second Life, while Rogers used to work as a coder for Atari. Both these professionals have a vast experience in the field of gaming, and their hire leads to doubts that Facebook is looking to make a leap into the gaming market on its own.
So far, Facebook hasn’t brought forward any large-scale gaming plans from its side, and is quietly relying on its many app developers to provide the games, and simply pockets the revenue. Facebook’s share is rumored to be around 30% of the revenue generated from each app. For apps like Farmville, which generates thousands of dollars every day, Facebook might be easily making a fortune. Introducing its own gaming apps at this moment might be a sensible decision, as Facebook is at the peak of its popularity, and so is the concept of Social gaming. Farmville’s developer, Zynga has repeatedly proven that no matter how silly the game might be, players will always be thrilled to play it along with their friends. Facebook is betting heavily on this concept, and it still remains to be seen how its latest acquisition (Walletin) will help the company to make a headstart in the field of social gaming.
Talking about Walletin, the fledgling company hasn’t made any significant contribution to the gaming community, and this acquisition has raised quite a few eyebrows in public, as there are far worthier people who are better skilled than the people behind Walletin! What’s more, Facebook hasn’t actually confirmed how it plans to make use of the services of Ondrejka and Rogers. All in all, this is a very mysterious deal indeed, and one has to wait and see how Facebook utilizes the skills of these two experienced professionals, and what changes it brings in the social gaming scene from its side. Knowing Facebook, it is bound to be something innovative and inventive.