Facebook going after hard-core gamers

Developers will add at least 10 hard-core titles this year to help the social network target players who spend more time, and money, on games.

A screenshot from U4iA's Offensive Combat. Facebook

Move over, FarmVille. Facebook is boosting its efforts to attract hard-core gamers -- the players who spend the most time and money on games -- by helping developers launch at least 10 new high-quality gaming titles this year, according to a report from Reuters.

These are games that have elements like strong plots, quality graphics, full-screen play and flash -- all things usually reserved for console games. The company doesn't produce these games, it partners with third-party developers who pay the social network 30 percent of its revenue from in-game purchases. Facebook confirmed that it expects a bulked up hard-core gaming roster this year, but emphasized that developers could choose to develop and launch more games.

Facebook gave CNET a few examples of what it's expecting so far:

• Offensive Combat, a multiplayer first-person shooter game by U4iA launched on Facebook last month. The app reached more than 1 million monthly active users in a test run over the holidays, according to Facebook.

• Rumble Entertainment, is currently testing its game KingsRoad, a medieval adventure game.

• NWay, a game developer founded by the creators of games like Crackdown and Grand Theft Auto , is testing a action role playing game, ChronoBlade.

Sean Ryan, director of games partnerships, said during a press event in October that Facebook would be diversifying its gaming offerings, with a specific focus on these type of action and adventure games.

"Role-playing games, strategy, core or mid-core games, that's what we expect to see next year for the explosion of genres," he had said. Facebook had 226 million players across all its genres at the time.

The company's been steadfast in this mission, encouraging developers and creating easier ways for people to find these types of games.

Last week Facebook updated its App Center categories to give "Action" and "Adventure" their own slots. Third-party developer Kixeye has already produced some mid-core, combat and strategy games for the social network's platform. Facebook says the games have been able to draw an audience that is 97 percent male, with 10 percent of these users making purchases within the game.

Make no mistake, FarmVille 2 is still the No. 1 game on the network at 10 million monthly active players, but Facebook's hoping these new games will attract a new batch of gamers who will spend even more time, and more money, on its site.

 

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