My last post commented on GamesBeat’s articles from Casual Connect, which touched on the challenges old casual game leaders are having with the new world of social games / social networks. Inside Social Games just posted about PopCap bringing Zuma to Facebook (as well as letting players use Facebook Connect on their own site).
A quick look and you can see some of the major differences to the games coming from Playfish and Zynga: 1. PopCap is not effectively cross-promoting other games in the header (or a sidebar); 2. the game’s only monetization path is through display advertisements (in this case, served by Google).
PopCap has also not copy-edited the marketing language below for the Facebook “Allow Access” screen, not a good sign.
PopCap is known for designing great games, so I think most people are assuming they are going to adapt successfully to this new world. Porting over old hits is not going to be enough, although those games should be quite effective as “loss leaders” pulling in traffic so that PopCap can cross-promote new games with better monetization and compulsion built in. It shall be interesting to watch their next moves.