Facebook's 25 Most Popular Games: Lessons for Arab Developers

by Glen Dalakian II, December 6, 2012

Facebook just announced the 25 most popular social games in 2012. Music trivia game SongPop by US developer FreshPlanet tops the chart, dethroning Zynga for the first time. But Zynga still has six popular titles on the top list, including FarmVille 2 and Draw Something.

This year’s top games are the most international yet; the majority of games came from outside the US, namely from France, Spain and the UK, Brazil, South Korea, Australia, and Turkey.

Turkish developer Peak Games, which has entered the Arab world, brings up the rear at number 23 with Bil ve Fethet, a game that pits three players against each other in a battle combining trivia and strategy.

The rankings are based on games that “received the highest star ratings from players and engagement levels over the course of the year,” according to Facebook’s press release.

As social gaming becomes more popular in the Arab world, there are some important lessons that Arab game developers can learn from this list:

  • Go mobile. A lot of the games below are enabled for Facebook on mobile, or are exclusively mobile games that use a Facebook login. This speaks to the growing of mobile gaming- social gamers love to stay connected and have fun on the go.
     
  • Players like to show off. The success of games like FarmVille reveals that players like to put a lot of time into the details of, say, organizing a virtual farm, recruiting a strong team of dragons, or developing skills as a wordsmith, as long as it's social. people like to compete, look good, and earn bragging rights.
     
  • Users like to be part of a grand adventure. Many of these games encourage gamers to build empires, secure their castle, or battle in arenas against friends. Just like grander MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Gaming), players like to have a customizable and personal adventure.

A simple game, strong graphics, and minimal advertisements make games much more enjoyable and encourages players to come back for more. If a game is easy to come back to and has a clean user interface, players are more likely to spend their free time clicking on it.

Users hate to wait for a game to load. It’s easy to lose fans when your game has bugs, is too powerful for their bandwidth, and takes several minutes to load. Simpler, cleaner games win the day, especially on mobile.

Facebook's Top-Rated Games of 2012

  1. SongPop (FreshPlanet) 
  2. Dragon City (Social Point) 
  3. Bike Race (Top Free games) 
  4. Subway Surfers (Kiloo) 
  5. Angry Birds Friends (Rovio) 
  6. FarmVille 2 (Zynga) 
  7. Scramble with Friends (Zynga) 
  8. Clash of Clans (Supercell) 
  9. Marvel: Avengers Alliance (Playdom) 
  10. Draw Something (Zynga) 
  11. Hay Day (Supercell) 
  12. Baseball Heroes (Syntasia) 
  13. ChefVille (Zynga)
  14. CSR Racing (NaturalMotion Games) 
  15. Candy Crush Saga (King.com) 
  16. Matching With Friends (Zynga) 
  17. Legend Online (OASIS GAMES)
  18. Jurassic Park Builder (Ludia) 
  19. Dungeon Rampage (Rebel Entertainment) 
  20. Pockie Ninja II Social (NGames Limited) 
  21. Jetpack Joyride (Halfbrick) 
  22. Social Empires (Social Point)
  23. Bil ve Fethet (Peak Games)
  24. Ruby Blast Adventures (Zynga)
  25. Pyramid Solitaire Saga (King.com)

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Glen is Features Editor at Wamda. You can follow him on Twitter @glenjd2, connect with him on LinkedIn and Google+, or reach him at glen[at]wamda[dot]com.