As many of you have probably heard by now, Insomniac Games, the developer behind Ratchet and Clank, Spyro and Resistance: Fall of Man are expanding into the social gaming market on Facebook with Insomniac Click, a subsidy dedicated to creating free-to-play Facebook apps. While EA with Dragon Age: Legends and a few other major studios have made small forays into social gaming, Insomniac is the first to dedicate significant resources to compete with the likes of Farmville and Mafia Wars.
Insomniac Chief Creative Officer Brian Hastings sees Insomniac Click! as a way to diversify the Insomniac’s projects. According to this blog post on Insomniac’s official website, Hastings acknowledges the evolving landscape of gaming but also makes a staunch commitment to continue producing “AAA console experiences with our proprietary blend of double rainbows and awesomesauce,” according to its website.
In the same post, Hastings also calls the creation of Insomniac Click! a “pragmatic necessity.” This makes sense, given that according to a few studies cited in an IGN editorial Facebook gaming is nearly as profitable as console gaming. Only Call of Duty: Black Ops is able to generate more players than Facebook social gaming titles like Cityville and Farmville.
Regardless, Insomniac Click’s mission will be to take the core elements of Insomniac Games and apply them to games anyone can enjoy. Below are the tenants that Insomniac has set forth on Insomiac Click’s website regarding this new Facebook division:
1) Social interaction must be mutually enjoyable. We promise to create social interactions that are fun for both players.
2) Game tuning must benefit the player experience. We think it’s possible to create social games that focus on improving the player experience first and foremost and that the Reach, Retention and Revenue will naturally go up when people are enjoying the game itself.
3) Gameplay Depth. We want to create worlds to explore, challenges to master and a continuing story to discover. We promise to deliver the richness of gameplay content that you would expect from a console game, but freely playable online.
4) Easy to Learn, Hard to Master. We promise to make a game that anyone can learn and play within a few minutes, but that takes months or year of practice in order to become one of the top players in the world.
5) Make It Fun First. Our strategy is to first create core game mechanics that are fun to play independent of any social framework. We then integrate the social aspects of the game in ways that people naturally enjoy playing together
What many of you may not have heard is that Insomniac Click is actively looking to hire programmers, artists and animators to work on their first Facebook project. If you’re interested and you think you have what it takes to work with Insomniac Click, take a look at what Insomniac’s career page has to offer.
What do you guys think of Insomniac’s move toward social gaming? Will other major developers follow suit?