Interview

Facebook is the place for casual and core games to conquer the world, says games man Bob Slinn

Facebook is the place for casual and core games to conquer the world, says games man Bob Slinn

It is the time of year to give presents so following Apple's announcement of its Best of 2014 comes Facebook's list.

Of course, unlike Apple's continued push of paid content, Facebook's featured games are all free-to-play.

But the choices of the social network do throw up some surprises.

For one thing, its Game of the Year is SGN's Cookie Jam, a match-3 puzzler that singularly failed to find much traction on iOS and Android when released earlier in 2014, but which has found over 5 million players on Facebook.

Cool for core

Of course, this makes it exactly the sort of game that Facebook is keen to highlight.

"Mobile is a very competitive market," points out Bob Slinn, Facebook's head of game partnerships in Europe and the Middle East.

According to Slinn, games remain "hugely important to Facebook", which is why it's working hard to make the platform easier to use for developers, for example by improving support for Unity and improving discovery.

In this context he's pleased to see new developers coming to the social network.

"We help developers reach an international audience; something we're seeing with eastern European developers," he says.

Plarium's core Sparta: War of Empires is one of Facebook's Best of 2014

Within EMEA, Russia is represented by St Petersburg developer Playkot (with SuperCity on the Best of 2014 list) while Israeli Facebook strategy stalwart Plarium underlines the platform's ability to successfully host core games with its Sparta: War of Empires featuring on the list.

We help developers reach an international audience.
Bob Slinn

Indeed, Slinn argues that Facebook provides a better environment for organising the clans that underpin successful strategy game than mobile.

Breakout

And further afield, outside of the EMEA region, Facebook continues to provide a useful platform for developers hungry for international expansion.

So despite the fact that Facebook is blocked in China by the country's 'Great Firewall', Youzu's League of Angels and Shang Game's Hero Defense both ended up on Facebook's Best New Games of 2014 list.

Slinn also points to King's Candy Crush Soda Crush in terms of providing an example of the now standard Facebook play, which makes the most of the platform's social graph to connect gamers and make their experience in and out of game more viral and seemlessly cross-platform.

You can see Facebook's various Game of the Year lists here.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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