The Game's Over For Small Game Developers On Facebook

During a panel at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco, the top Facebook game developers spoke about the state of the Facebook Platform and social games in general. The silence from panelists when Justin Smith asked the panelists about what Facebook can do to help small developers echoed the overall consensus from many in the room.

Inside Social AppsDuring a panel at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco, the top Facebook game developers spoke about the state of the Facebook Platform and social games in general. The silence from panelists when Justin Smith asked the panelists about what Facebook can do to help small developers echoed the overall consensus from many in the room.

Right now many of the developers in the room were turning their focus to mobile and many of the panelists were also shifting their focus to the same area as well. All of the panelists, Vish Makhijani (Zynga), Rick Thompson (Playdom), Kristian Segerstrale (Playfish), and Peter Relan (CrowdStar), appeared relatively bullish on Facebook in the long-term, however they were cautiously signaling that mobile is a big opportunity.

Without disclosing the company’s internal strategies, all of them suggested that they are still quite optimistic about the Facebook ecosystem and 2011 in general. Overall the barrier to entry is increasing however for a number of reasons including the increase in capital into the space which is boosting the cost of user acquisition.

Given that the panel was made up of the current leaders in social games, it was somewhat biased toward the Facebook Platform, but it feels as though the room is filled with companies all looking for opportunities in mobile. While they didn’t say there’s no point in trying on Facebook, right now the ecosystem is extremely difficult for smaller developers.

During the next panel we’ll learn much more about the state of Facebook when we hear from the company’s CTO, Bret Taylor.