Google+ Games Needs New Ideas, Not Facebook’s Leftovers

By  |  Monday, September 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm

At first glance, CityVille’s arrival on Google+ seems like good news for the social network. CityVille is Zynga’s most popular game on Facebook, and among the 18 titles currently on Google+ Games, it’s a standout alongside Angry Birds and Bejeweled Blitz.

But with CityVille, Google+ Games is no more exciting than it was last week. The game already launched on Facebook nine months ago, so unless you’ve got some grudge against Facebook and have been holding out all this time, CityVille+ doesn’t offer anything new.

Google may not realize this because it’s new to gaming, but it won’t get anywhere by pursuing Facebook’s leftovers. What it really needs–as any new gaming platform throughout history has needed–is a killer exclusive. Something that everyone wants, but no other platform has. The social network’s equivalent to Super Mario Bros., Halo or Uncharted. A system seller.

I have a feeling this game won’t come from Zynga, a publisher whose biggest innovations in social gaming are behind it, and whose main interest will continue to be in Facebook as long as that’s where the users are. For that matter, no major social game publisher is likely to create the killer exclusive that Google+ Games really needs.

But somewhere, there’s a developer with amazing ideas that could innovate social gaming in unforeseen ways. Maybe it’s an industry veteran-turned-indie game maker, or a small developer that lacks the resources to pursue its vision, or an up-and-coming studio like Mojang. In any case, Google needs to be on the hunt for this developer, and this idea, if the company is at all serious about gaming on Google+. The platform doesn’t need CityVille. It needs the next FarmVille–figuratively, of course.

 
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12 Comments For This Post

  1. Rip Says:

    They need a console.

  2. Black Knight Rebel Says:

    These are my ideas for Google+ gaming:
    …….1. Give each game both a release trailer and a Gameplay trailer.
    …….2. Get cross-platform licenses. If I bought Tetris for my PS3 let me play a full version of Tetris on …………..G+ for like $0.99. Everyone else can play a watered-down version for free. Man, I'd kill to …………..have a social version of Plants vs Zombies. I wouldn't pay full price for that alone, but I'd be …………..willing to part with 1 dollar and proof of purchase of the full version.
    …….3. Circles-based high score tables. If centipede is on offer let me compare scores like a real …………..arcade but let me cycle through scoreboards based on circles. If Circles are such a big …………..deal, let's get it further integrated into the experience!
    …….4. Get serious games! Even golden oldies like Asteroids could be played 100% free and be …………..ad-supported. Real games will be a fine distinguishing feature.

  3. Black Knight Rebel Says:

    Try to compensate for site's crappy formatting rules:
    Get an even bigger mess for your efforts (=_= ;)

  4. lakawak Says:

    NO game developer in their right mind is going to make a game exclusively for Google+ because that would be like someone programming a game that only plays on Linux. They are in the business to make money, and you don't do that by ignoring 98% of the market.

    The numbers are simple….
    Number of people with Facebook accounts but not Google+? about 750 million
    Number of people with Google+ accounts but not Facebook? about 750

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    Up till now, google+ has not done anything that is drastically different from other social media platforms. There is still a lack of a killer app or killer feature that will make it top Facebook. Facebook now has more than 750 million users. It will be an uphill battle for Google+ to tap into the social media market if it doesn't find a way to develop the next big games that everyone has to play.