Jeff Pababero read this
That depends of what kinds of experiences you happen to enjoy on the social network. Here's a handful of game types expected to be all the rage -- and a few fit to be unfriended.
Hidden Chronicles (Zynga)
Experts like AJ Glasser, editor of Inside Network, are a bit tentative, though, especially when it comes to their earning potential.
"I don't know if it's really going to grow that big. The big game makers might feel obliged because Playdom had such luck with it, but we're not really sure if the monetization figures are that great."
Regardless of the financials, however, game makers are likely to dive in just to keep up with the Joneses.
"We will see more entries from bigger players because they feel that they have to have a hidden-object game in their wheelhouse," Glasser adds.
Console game companions
Dragon Age Legends (EA)
Other players include Ubisoft, who is betting big on Facebook with games related to Assassin's Creed, CSI and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, and THQ, who took the social network to the mat last year with games based on the UFC and WWE franchises.
Competition over cooperation
Tetris Battle (The Tetris Company)
"You've got all these games coming out now where it's about combat between real players with real consequences — where there's a winner and a loser," says Glasser. "We're seeing developers want to recreate that massively-multiplayer real-time combat experience."
Even standard puzzle games, long a staple of any Facebook gamer's diet, are getting more competitive with more of a focus on leaderboards. The theory? Competition breeds engagement; players will go all out trying to take down their friends, which could mean big bucks for the providers. Glasser points to the sudden success of Tetris Battle, which lets players stack the famous blocks against one another, as an example.
"Puzzle games want to encourage that competitive nature…people pay for that," she notes.
Taking care of virtual pets
Pet Society (Playfish)
For those of us weary of getting a million requests to help Aunt Shirley buy Mr. Whiskers a new litterbox, that might be good news.
Civilization World (Firaxis)
"The city building genre is oversaturated right now," she notes, adding that it's slowed down significantly. And when something is oversaturated, gamers tend to flock elsewhere. The glory days of the empire simulation may well be behind us.
Game Show games
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Fox)