Did I miss something, or did everyone just end up getting an iPhone?

For the longest time panels at GDC, and interviews with CEOs put faith in a Facebook focused future. Promises that games would become more socially focused, increase in complexity, as well as gain a much needed leap in graphical fidelity, all seem unfulfilled – or if they are, it seems I am woefully uninformed. So where did everything go wrong? What happened to the bright future of Facebook games?

While I have no future as a business analyst, here are a few possible suspects:

1. Zynga was overvalued

While the mega-company isn’t in danger of shuttering any time soon, a less then stellar performance on its first few days of trading may have caused investors to be more cautious with an industry that seems to shadow the Dot-com bubble of the mid-late 90s.

2. A user base will not expand without compelling content to entice new users

New content just isn’t there. Games come out at a meaningful pace on Facebook, but none of them have the power to bring in someone that had initially dismissed the platform. If there had been such a game, I probably wouldn’t be writing this.

3. Zero First Party Support

Part of what makes the home console and portable scenes interesting is the bevy of exclusive and tailor made experiences for each device. With Facebook being a massive social platform, it becomes increasingly detrimental for Facebook (the company) to not leverage their greatest asset.

4. The Apps/Games content portal is AWFUL

To do my due diligence, I went and pulled up the games page. You should do the same…I’ll wait…Yeah, it is that bad.

5. What social mechanics there are all suck

Anything that increases the amount of spam on a platform is bad. Period.

I am not against Facebook gaming. When a few friends of mine were really into Farmville, I was alright with it initially in the hopes it would lead them to explore the medium further. However, no matter how interesting your time spent on Facebook seems, it will never (at the current rate) be a place to find any meaningful gameplay experience.

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