Is Facebook the Napster of the Games Industry?

Will Electronic Arts (EA) lumber to a bargain basement valuation behind the record labels?

Will EA’s Pogo.com raise the company to a Facebook style valuation? (using social network community metrics and Facebook as a comparable).

Gabe Zichermann made a strong case at the LA Games Conference that Facebook is going to Napsterize the games industry. Incumbent majors are taking a wait and see approach to Fabook, while the people, “the little guys”, now have the tools to create a whole new gaming paradigm.

Gabe cites developers who are not traditional game developers are using Facebook’s platform to create highly successful games: Blake Commagere created Vampire, Zombies and WereWolves, some of the most successful apps ever. Scrabulous took an established game and leveraged Facebook as a social utility to achieve a new level of success for the game Scrabble (at least its hard to believe that the board game would have over 600 concurrent users 6.22.08). Zynga Game Network raised 10 million dollars and SGN raise 15 million on the promise of building games on top of the social graph.

Gabe has the perspective to make such assertions. As founder of Trymedia, Gabe was the first to make a business of putting legitimate music content on Napster. Trymedia received applause from only the youngest employees at the labels, and open disbelief and hostility from the labels’ executive ranks. Gabe is a bear on the prospects of the video game majors if they put their head in the sand like the record labels did in the late 90’s.

Gabe is CEO of rmbr.com, and clearly understands the power of Facebook. rmbrME is Social Networking for Real Life. It’s an easy way to share your socially-networked contact information with someone using text messaging. It works with every phone, carrier and social network (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.). There are no downloads or subscriptions–it’s an easy, fun, cool and green way to keep in touch with new friends you meet in real life. Check out Gabe’s profile for his contact information and read more at http://rmbrme.com/.