But they don't have to be that way. With advancements in Flash making ever more complex, multi-player browser games possible (hell, there's a goddamnarena FPS (opens in new tab)on the wayto FB soon), it's totally possible for big game publishers to start bringing their wares to your lunch break. And totally sensible, given that the potential number of players is similar to the population of the developed world. Capcom is already thinking about it, and we reckon others will follow suit. So we've had a think about whichgames would be a good fit, and come up with somekiller apps that the big guys would be insane not to make.
Left 4 Dead
Originally on: PC, Xbox 360
Perfect for FB because: Valve and the internet are BBF. Official. You just need to look at the number of online instances of the words ‘cake’ and ‘lie’ appearing the same sentence for evidence of that. And Valve has always been good to its community, furnishing it with all kinds of fun and silly extensions to the games it loves, through the likes of free updates, mod support and Headcrab hats.
So Left 4 Dead on Facebook would be a perfect cultural fit, and would have a rabid, in-built audience from the start. Just make it like the unofficial NES remake in the video above, but with proper online co-op. Then set up a news feed function detailing team stats after every match (most importantly, in order to embarrass whoever screwed up first and got everyone killed), and you’ve got solidFacebook gold.
Chu Chu Rocket
Originally on: Dreamcast
Perfect for FB because: Chu Chu Rocket started the whole online multiplayer ball rolling on consoles, but due to its pioneering nature and original home on the prematurely pole-axed Dreamcast, it never got the widespread recognition it deserved.
A resurrection on Facebook would be the perfect way to achieve that recognition. Its simple gameplay and presentation are clear enough for even the most casual Mafia warrior to pick up, it features enough cute animals to keep the Farmville and Pet Society crew happy, and crucially, its frantic and hilarious multiplayer thrives on social interaction. Plus, mouse control would be a perfect fitfor controlling your mice.
The Legend of Zelda
Originally on: Everything with a Nintendo badge on it
Perfect for FB because: A dense, 40-hour, single-player action-adventure, played through a Facebook browser? Sounds about as sensible as glass tap-shoes, right? Well stick with us. That’s not what we’re thinking.
How about bite-sized chunks of multiplayer Zelda, played online, in a manner akin to The Gamecube’s Four Swords Adventure? Top-down, SNES-style view, multiple Links, and the whole thing condensed into co-op dungeon quests, taking 10-20 minutes each to complete. New quests could be added periodically, and everyone would be happy. Especially Facebook, who would be raking the users in.
Originally on: Gamecube
Perfect for FB because: Casual Facebook games are all about repetitive, menial tasks, arbitrary rewards, a total lack of skill-based, confrontational challenge, and showing off irrelevant crap to your friends. Animal Crossing pioneered that gameplay model to disturbingly compulsive effect, so a Facebook version is a more obvious idea than continuing to breathe.
Replace the system of inviting friends to your house to show and trade said irrelevant crap with one whereby you do the same through pictures and links in your news feed, and you’ve got an experience simultaneously perfect and hellish. Whichever camp you fall into, it would do massive business.
Age of Booty
Originally on: PC, XBLA, PSN
Perfect for FB because: It hassimple, accessible, strategy.It hasfrantic, but good-natured, competitive multiplayer for small groups. It has pirates. Three factors which mean that Facebook will go loopy for it. With Capcom already thinking about expanding its more casual games into the Facebook arena, we’ll put a modest amount of money down on this one actually appearing within a year.
So what do you think? Can Facebook become a legitimate gaming platform, given the right big-name support? Whose games would you like to see on it? And what would that mean for 'proper' console and PC gaming? As ever, let us know in the comments, or via our portals onFacebook (opens in new tab)andTwitter (opens in new tab).