Difference Between Social Games and MMORPG’s

Difference Between Social Games and MMORPG
I am a long time player of MMORPG’s. Recently I have started playing more and more of these so called “social games”. A huge part of game play revolves around sending gifts to your Facebook friends and helping each other out. Below are some of the main characteristic of Social games that I have noticed. While listing these out, I will include some normal MMORPG references because after all, social games are essentially Mass Multiplayer Games with a hidden hook.

Contents Change or Get Updated Fairly Quickly
Facebook social games get updated and changed on a weekly basis. Sometimes updates so big that it completely overthrows the old system. Social game players need to be constantly on their toes to note the latest change and adapt to it. MMORPG’s, on another hand, enjoy much slower pace of update change.

Competition is Fierce
I am not stating that the MMORPG market’s competition is not fierce, however, the competition for social games is even worse for game developers and companies. It is so easy for players to jump from game to game. Sometimes the users online for a given game can change in the numbers of hundreds and thousands on a given day. For MMORPG’s, the player base is typically fairly constant.
Short Life-Span of Games

Compared to hard core MMORPG’s, facebook social games are meant to be played as a past time during work or while your boyfriend/girlfriend is watching TV or studying. Most of the social games are not meant to be played hard core. They typically do not have that much depth and content to be explored and fully played.

Based Heavily on Social Aspect
Social games try very hard for you to release game story feeds and invites to your network of friends. You normally would not try to get your friends into MMORPG that you play. It is different for social games because the benefit of having neighbors and friends really outweigh anything else. You end up inviting most if not all of your friends in your network. In some cases, you even start inviting active strangers who play the game. Being social on Facebook is the sure fire way of getting ahead.

Money Spending Tactic is Heavily Used
While I was playing a lot more MMORPG’s, I do notice hard sell tactics for players to spend money into buying better gears, mounts, and skills. However, while playing the social facebook games, I am amazed at how gentle the sales tactic the MMORPG’s was. I notice that more and more facebook social games are geared toward making players spending real cash. These tactics include heavy limitations with friendly reminder of cash spending, consistent popup of “sales”, and bonus items that require you to spend real cash to acquire.

Low Learning Curve
Compared to the MMORPG’s, social games typically have really low learning curve with less variables. It is easy to get started in game and continue playing. There is little to none techniques when it comes to social games. The skill level involved is less compared to time spent.

Require Proper Planning
To be great at a social game, it is necessary to plan ahead for most of your actions. Because most social games do not let you reset the actions you take, you usually have to live with the decisions for the rest of your game play. This is especially true because the game is tied to your Facebook account. Although you can always create new facebook accounts, it is hard to juggle multiple accounts at the same time.

Final thoughts:
I love games and I love to play. I think social games do have their merits. I believe that as the industry progresses, the quality and depth of social games will become better and better. I think that as our technology improves and internet speed increases in general, game developers will be able to create better games for all…After all, all mass multiplayer games are like. A few people will always want to level up to that max level. Most people will simply want to have fun. Therefore, many will usually quit the game before they reach the end game stage. It is even more so in social games because the barrier of entry is so low.

I hope to see all of you in the social games!

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