作者：Tami Baribeau（PopCap Games产品经理）
索尼在线娱乐就是一个铁证，这个传统游戏开发商数次努力打入Facebook平台。《The Agency: Covert Ops》是一款《黑帮战争》风格的游戏，有着相当高的生产价值，累积了40万名MAU（月活跃用户）后，这款游戏终于隐没无踪。 《Wildlife Refuge》是一款精心打造的社交游戏范本，但即使贴上公益的标签，也还是只能勉强得到30万的MAU。 《Catch a Killer》有James Patterson（美国惊悚小说家）作后盾也还是不能幸免于10万MAU的悲剧。自此，索尼在线的Facebook游戏战役几乎空手而归，育碧仍在该领域艰难求生，《Crime City》是其目前为止唯一的火种。
热门游戏又怎么样呢？情况应该不至于太糟，对吧？Blue Fang Games的《Carmen Sandiego》和 《The Oregon Trail》这两款知名休闲游戏几乎同时受到所有玩家的赞誉。但它们也同时陷入艰苦卓绝的挣扎，扭转乾坤的机率微乎其微，一直都仅有4万MAU的《Carmen Sandiego》确实是处境堪忧。 《Civ World》从Facebook平台复出后，仅收获6万2千的DAU（日活跃用户）和14%的留存率，情况同样不甚乐观。
大受欢迎的品牌的状况又如何？许多游戏工作室都尝试用品牌游戏和广告游戏开辟市场，但迄今为止，成功的案例寥寥无几。Playdom的《ESPNU College Town》高调登场，但现在的DAU甚至不足5万。另一款Playdom游戏《Pet Resort》携手Purina产品（游戏邦注：它是美国最大，也是最贵的一种宠物饲料品牌），也已经呈现日薄西山的光景。红火的拉斯维加斯旅馆/赌场品牌Golden Nugget发行的Facebook游戏收获的玩家数量极少。THQ制作了一款“UFC”（终极格斗冠军赛）品牌的游戏，其MAU和DAU一路走低。《Jersey Shore》大概是最热门的真人秀节目之一，但该游戏的DAU从来就没有超过25万。MTV热门节目改制的游戏尚且如此，其他同类游戏又该如何呢？
“Facebook品牌社交游戏是未来的发展方向”（“Branded Social Games on Facebook are the Future”）——真是这样吗？至少目前为止，我们还不能指望。
“玩家呼唤更大更好的Facebook游戏”（“Gamers Want Bigger and Better Games on Facebook”）——他们真这么表态了？刚发布的那款怎么没人玩？
“Zynga/Playdom/Playfish/等公司做的不是游戏是垃圾”（“Zynga/Playdom/Playfish/insert-company-here Don’t Make Games, They Make Crap”）——那么玩家在玩的垃圾数目真多啊。
Big game studios and familiar games not instant successes on Facebook
by Tami Baribeau
Playfirst are closing down Diner Dash on Facebook on August 29th, only a few months after closing Chocolatier. While those who follow the space closely might not be surprised by this; it is just more reaffirmation that developing and launching games on Facebook is not a simple endeavor. Many huge gaming companies and large well-known brands have failed to find traction on Facebook.
It’s an interesting divide in the industry, as we have traditional game players screaming for more ‘gamey’ and deeper games on Facebook and the gaming industry as a whole looking down on the kind of games that social game developers are creating. However, when companies make attempts to release games that target the hardcore gamer, or bring well-known gaming brands onto Facebook, they are falling flat and are unable to support their operating costs.
Sony Online Entertainment is a key example of this. The traditional MMO game developer has made several attempts at breaking into the Facebook platform. The Agency: Covert Ops was a Mafia Wars-styled game with high production value yet it maxed out at almost 400,000 monthly players and is now nowhere to be found. Wildlife Refuge was a game that took a much more calculated approach at fitting in with the social game paradigms and mechanics, yet even with a great charity tie-in it barely got to 300,000 MAU. Catch a Killer was a James Patterson branded mystery game that couldn’t hold on to 100,000 monthly players. Sony Online appears to have completely pulled out of the Facebook gaming space at this point in time, and that’s probably a good thing. Ubisoft continues to throw attempts against the wall, and so far only Crime City has managed to stick.
What about popular game titles? You can’t go wrong with those, right? Blue Fang Games managed to fail with both Carmen Sandiego and The Oregon Trail, two preciously coveted casual games that are almost unanimously hailed as great games by all gamers. Both games are struggling and will likely not survive, especially Carmen Sandiego with 40,000 MAU total at this time. Civ World was supposed to the second coming of Facebook games, and it only has 62,000 daily players and a 14% retention rate.
The Oregon Trail on Facebook
And big popular brands? Many studios have been taking shots with branded games and advergames, and so far they appear to fall short of massive success. Playdom’s ESPNU College Town came out strong but now has under 50,000 daily players. Playdom also launched Pet Resort branded with Purina products, which has since been sunsetted. Popular Las Vegas hotel/casino Golden Nugget launched a Facebook game that barely had enough players to even mention it. THQ made an attempt at a UFC branded game. Jersey Shore might be one of the most popular reality shows around, but MTV has never managed to get its DAU above 250,000. If MTV can’t do it, who can?
Playdom’s ESPNU College Town (graph via AppData.com)
It’s funny reading the headlines:
“Branded Social Games on Facebook are the Future” – Are they? So far, they’re not doing so well.
“Gamers Want Bigger and Better Games on Facebook” – Do they? They’re not playing the ones that launch.
“Zynga/Playdom/Playfish/insert-company-here Don’t Make Games, They Make Crap” – Crap that people are actually playing in mass numbers.
Those who keep attempting and failing are doing something wrong. What do you think that is? I personally feel that it’s a all about not knowing and designing for the right audience. The big players in the social game industry are aware of who the target audience is on Facebook and have found the game mechanics that best serve them and best fit the Facebook platform.
It’s a shame that Playfirst hasn’t been able to find success with their games on Facebook. They are clear frontrunners in the casual games space, but it turns out that no one is surprised you can’t just take a successful game and plop it on Facebook. To be viable, you have to adapt to the platform’s strengths and what the players on that platform want out of their gaming experience.
Tami Baribeau is a Product Manager for PopCap Games. She is also the Lead Editor of feminist gaming blog The Border House. She can be reached on Twitter or by email.（source:tamibaribeau）