The state of the Facebook ecosystem looks quite different from Europe, Criminal Case developer Pretty Simple told Gamasutra last week.
It’s a view held up by Facebook itself, revealing in its annual Games of the Year list this morning that European and independent studios have come to dominate an increasingly diverse ecosystem.
“We are definitely seeing more and different studios getting into the platform,” says Facebook’s A.J. Glasser, who credits the spread in part to the growing accessibility of Unity and HTML5 on the platform in the last year. “In addition, many of these games are cross-platform, hitting both web and mobile. Some [like King's games] launch first on Facebook and then spread to mobile, and for others it’s the reverse.”
Of its 23 highlighted titles, eight of the entries on Facebook’s Games of the Year list are cross-platform, and 10 arrive from studios based in Europe or the Middle East. While the list sees a marginal uptick in the success of casino and slots games, the majority are prototypical free-to-play social games — and many are designed with a hardcore or middlecore audience in mind.
“We wanted to highlight games not simply based on traffic, but user ratings and quality as well,” Glasser explains. “These are the games we honestly, truly loved.”
The full list of highlighted titles follows below.
Best New Games of 2013
Bake Shop Drop by Broken Bulb Studios (USA)
Farm Heroes Saga by King (UK)
Heart of Vegas by Product Madness/Aristocrat (UK)
Hit It Rich Casino Slots by Zynga (USA)
Jelly Splash by Wooga (Germany)
Kitchen Scramble by Disney Interactive (USA)
Monster Legends by Social Point (Spain)
Smurfs & Co.: Spellbound by Ubisoft (France)
Soldiers Inc. by Plarium (Israel)
Solitaire Tales by Qublix (Canada)
Thunder Run War of Clans by SpinPunch Games (USA)
Vikings Gone Wild by EveryDayiPlay (Poland)
DoubleU Casino by AFewGoodSoft (South Korea)
Game of Thrones Ascent by Disruptor Beam (USA)
King’s Bounty: Legions by Nival (Russia)
Panda Jam by SGN (USA)
Wartune by Road7/Proficient City (China)
War Commander by Kixeye (USA)
2013 Hall of Fame
Candy Crush Saga by King
DoubleDown Casino by DoubleDown Interactive/IGT (USA)
FarmVille 2 by Zynga
Slotomania by Playtika/Caesar’s Interactive (Israel)
Game of the Year 2013
Criminal Case by Pretty Simple (France)
From Facebook: “This hidden object game from a French indie studio combines crime scene investigation with engaging sharing mechanics to create the most successful Facebook game of the year.”