The future of online social gaming can be found in the Wii
Yesterday the 8th Facebook developers garage took place which was hosted at the Sun Microsystems conference center. The second main speaker was successful games industry CEO Kristian Segerstrale of Playfish.
His main presentation over the evening was about building a successful business within the Facebook arena. Key points which he raised over the evening was how important the financial aspect of running any company is as well as hosting scalability and about how the current generation of text based games and quite basic animated games, would evolve into much more advanced beasts.
On the infrastructure front he and other speakers touched on the importance of having a scalable application and hosting environment. The point that was stressed was that if you have a goal of x thousand or million users and your platform is only able to support or scale to a fraction of that you’re in trouble.
On the actual quality of production and playability front he said that we could look forwards to seeing games which were on a par with titles on the Wii within 3 years. While this would increase the development costs from 5 figure sums to 6 figure sums that models would evolve to make it profitable.
One sighted example of how social networking games could evolve, was the new Mario Galaxy game for the Wii, which despite being perceived as quite a limited platform is still able to produce great graphics and gameplay. It would certainly be great to see some of our favorite Facebook games like Parking Wars, My City turn into full 3D audio/visual experiences.