Few corpses on Facebook
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 November 2012, 4:40 am
I've been looking at the latest generation of Facebook games, from Zynga and others. There has been some evolution with games like Farmville 2 and Cityville 2 not just being prettier than their predecessors, but also having improvements to gameplay. What remains is the problem that these games are basically unplayable unless you create a specific Facebook account just for them and fill it with fake friends, so not much movement there.

But one thing that struck me when looking at various games on Facebook was how little violence there was in these games. Many of them have millions of players in spite of not having any combat, any monsters or other players to kill, and no corpses in sight anywhere.

Now obviously Facebook gamers are mostly a different population from MMORPG gamers. But the difference between MMORPGs being mostly about violence and Facebook games being mostly non-violent is striking. Now some people will say that the lack of success of non-violent MMORPGs like A Tale in the Desert "proves" that players don't like a lack of corpses in their MMORPG. But then ATitD isn't exactly a triple-A game, and has a lot of other niche-game weirdness to it which can explain its lack of success.

A lot of people already spend a lot of time in games like World of Warcraft doing non-violent activities, like fishing or growing vegetables. I could very well imagine either a non-violent MMORPG which is totally about building things, or a hybrid in which building things and combat are better balanced than in the current games. Why not "Farmville the MMO" with 80 million players?
Tobold's Blog

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