Civilization veteran turned Zynga chief designer Brian Reynolds has said traditional developers approach social gaming in the wrong way, but that core platforms aren’t going away any time soon.
“The important thing with social is to understand that the core of it is social. You can’t just go write… Call of Duty and add Facebook functionality,” Reynolds told Industry Gamers.
“You’ve got to make a game that’s about socializing, make social the core of what you’re inventing, and then build the game around that.”
Reynolds said triple-A attempts at social fall down because they ‘miss the point’.
“Don’t try to make a triple-A game and then try to figure out how to add the social into it,” he warned.
“Make a social game and then figure out how to draw on your triple-A experience, to make it better, to make it more fun and more compelling.”
The designer said some traditional publishers may succeed at social if they adapt to the new platform, but that he doesn’t see traditional platforms failing, even if they can’t harness the massive numbers found on social networks.
“I don’t think the traditional space is going to go away. I mean, it has shrunk…it shrunk a little last year, and it shrunk a lot the year before,” he commented.
“It’s not going to always even be shrinking … It’s going to continue to be a perfectly fine business, but it’s just not going to become a particularly larger business then it already is. It’ll grow at a modest rate is my take on it.”
Other social moguls have not been so kind; Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka said console games need to be more like smartphone offerings in order to stay “relevant”.