A peek at the future of social gaming

by jeffhilimire on October 1, 2010

In my continued effort to figure out whether or not I want to move my WordPress blog over to Tumblr or Posterous, I’ve started to embrace the idea that if I have a thought I want to share, or a video I want to post, or a quote I like, I can throw that up and it doesn’t have to be a full blown long-form blog post.  So in that vein

I’ve been thinking about the future of social gaming.  What strikes me is that the games themselves, the Farmville’s and Mafia Wars, are considered “social” mostly because they are built on a social network and because they require you to involve your friends to progress in the game levels.

But the big miss so far is that you aren’t able to really bring your friends IN TO the game with you.  I see this being the next evolution of social games.  Examples:

- Managing a farm with your friends.  5 of you sign up to build this farm.  You can all be hoeing and seeding at the same time, or you can take shifts, or you can assign certain friends with jobs (Joe, you’re the landscaping guy, make this thing look good).  Collaboration within the game.

- Running a cafe with a team of your friends.  Some of you cook, some of you serve, some of you keep it clean, some of you are out on the street recruiting people to come in and eat, etc.

We’ve seen this type of thing with World of Warcraft and Xbox live, but we haven’t really seen the social games take this step.  Or if we have, I’ve missed it.

  • Dave

    Jeff: I just saw a preview of SGN’s new game Mini Tycoon at TechCrunch Disrupt this week, which introduces this exact mechanic. Should be in the App Store in the next couple weeks. According to the CEO, it’s projected to drive $1M/month in micro-transaction dollars…

  • http://twitter.com/DaveWaltersATL Dave Walters

    Jeff: I just saw a preview of SGN’s new game Mini Tycoon at TechCrunch Disrupt this week, which introduces this exact mechanic. Should be in the App Store in the next couple weeks. According to the CEO, it’s projected to drive $1M/month in micro-transaction dollars…

  • http://welcometojmart.com/ Josh Martin

    Although I hate to admit it, I’ve still been playing FarmVille and they’ve been implementing some of those features you mentioned. Currently, my friends playing the game can visit my farm and help by harvesting my crops. There is also a co-op mode where you can team up with your friends to harvest certain crops to gain achievements within the game. They continue to add more and more of this type of collaboration functionality within the game, which is why I think FarmVille has continued to see success.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Good timing, I’ll check Mini Tycoon out. I’m just surprised this has taken so long to really happen in the social gaming space.

Previous post:

Next post: