Coming soon to Facebook: more action, battle games
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To help users discover them, Facebook added new action and strategy games categories on its App Center that also shows you friends from your list playing those games. It brought back notification messages from game apps -- a feature that had been removed because users found them annoying -- with certain restrictions that stop developers from spamming a gamer.
Developers also rely on word-of-mouth publicity and ads on Facebook's advertising platform to draw in prospective gamers.
"Stormfall" has a player base of 4.5 million and hardcore games were proving to be far more lucrative, said Gabi Shalel, chief marketing officer Of Tel Aviv, Israel-based Plarium.
"Hardcore gamers pay more, play more and generate higher average revenue per user than traditional casual games."
Kixeye, which makes the warfare-strategy game "War Commander," said its gamers spend 20 times more than players of social games, helping it stay profitable over the past three years.
Going forward, nWay's Jones says Facebook must have a defining title that comes along that establishes it as a hardcore gaming spot for gamers.
"Like 'Super Mario' did for Nintendo or 'Halo' on Microsoft, I think it just takes one title to come along, sort of as a benchmark to legitimize the whole thing," he said.