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2016 Games of the Year

December 21, 2016ByCalvin Grunewald

Facebook gives people the power to discover, play and share their favorite games — anywhere. This year we've invested in more areas outside of our web games, and introduced new ways for people to engage with games across multiple experiences, such as:

  • Instant Games: lightweight games that are instantly playable with friends on Messenger and News Feed — without needing to download or install another app — through score-based challenges, leaderboards, and turn-based games.
  • Facebook Gameroom: a PC gaming desktop app to easily discover and play fun and exciting games — from shooters to strategy, builders to bingo, casino to sports, and much more.
  • Facebook Live Game Streaming: allowing people and developers alike to broadcast their live gameplay & content from PC, mobile and console games directly to Facebook.

This year's Games of the Year recognize the games, developers and publishers that have made an impression on us and their players. With new categories like Best Instant Games, Best Gameroom Games and Best Use of Facebook Live, we’re also shining a spotlight on the games — and even a platform — that deliver great experiences to players through the innovative use of Facebook products and services.

Without further ado, below are Facebook's 2016 Games of the Year winners.

Facebook's 2016 Game of the Year:

  • Gardenscapes - New Acres by Playrix (EMEA) – A new launch on Facebook web this year, the game combines simulation elements with time management and match-3 mechanics — creating an exciting experience that breathes new life into an established property. Enabling players to become friends with their neighbors and invite one another to in-game social gatherings, Playrix managed to turn the necessary evil of gardening into our game of the year.

Facebook's 2016 Best Web Games:

  • Poker Heat by Playtika (EMEA) – Released on Facebook first, Playtika's newest hit game allows players to earn their way into the highest poker ranks. In seven stadiums, players battle their way through the tables, from the Newbie Court all the way to the World Class league.

  • Naruto Online by Oasis Games (APAC) – As a very important platform for its global strategy, Oasis leveraged the reach of Facebook to publish popular IP game Naruto Online. In this great MMORPG, fans of the original anime series can play with their favorite characters, explore familiar places and relive the epic saga of Naruto.

  • Taonga: The Island Farm by Volka (EMEA) – The relatively young game studio developed its very first game and launched on Facebook early this year. Allowing players to conquer the tropics and turn an uninhabited land into a own dream farm, Taonga became a top 100 grossing title within three months.

  • Liberators by MutantBox (APAC) – While their WWII strategy game allows players to build large and powerful armies, Mutant Box was also focused on conquering overseas markets themselves when they turned to Facebook to succeed with this plan.

  • Bejeweled Stars by EA (NA) — A fun new take on the classic IP, allowing players to collect and combine gems through the levels.

  • League of Angels II by Youzu (APAC) – Revolutionizing turn-based combat, League of Angels II allows players to customize their own team of powerful angels, with countless PVP and PVE modes. Powered by Facebook's desktop platform, the game attracted over 30 million players since launch.

  • Take 5 Free Slots by Double U Games (APAC) – Top-tier casino games developer DoubleU has always been adventurous with creating slots games, and they've continued to leverage the ease of integration with Facebook to drive results for their business.

  • Slots—Wizard of Oz by Zynga (NA) – A great slots experience inspired by a beloved film. Join Dorothy and her friends as they unfold the chapters of the iconic story through a rich variety of slot machines.

Facebook's 2016 Best Mobile Games:

  • Pokémon GO by Niantic (NA) – This game had the world moving and exploring outdoors so we can 'catch 'em all!' An addictive combination of collector and battle-based gameplay layered with location-driven augmented reality, Pokemon Go delivered a terrific social experience that became a phenomenon with millions of players.

  • Clash Royale by Supercell (EMEA) – Looking to expand on the success of Clash of Clans, Supercell released Clash Royale earlier this year and successfully combined elements from collectible card games, tower defense, and multiplayer online battle arena.

  • 阴阳师 by NetEase (APAC) – The part turn-based, part real-time RPG game combines cultural elements, traditional character design and high-quality graphics for a new take on card based combat.

Facebook's 2016 Best Gameroom Games

  • Oz: Broken Kingdom by NEXON M (NA) – The hugely successful mobile game integrated with Gameroom through our Unity integration and utilized the space perfectly to reach a new audience. The game's graphics translates gorgeously on a big screen, and the gameplay is highly engaging. We're definitely not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

  • Critical Ops by Critical Force (EMEA) – Critical Ops is a great first-person shooter game that allows players to jump into quick rounds in the game mode or dive into challenging matches. Fully integrated with Gameroom to let players immerse into the game like never before. Truly cross-platform, gamers can play from any device.

  • Game of Dice by JOYCITY (APAC) – This game's anime graphics are outstanding — and even more so in full size on desktop monitors. When looking for opportunities to expand its audience, JoyCity turned to Gameroom to combine scaling the game with scaling its resolution.

Facebook's 2016 Best Instant Games

  • Everwing by Blackstorm (NA) – Crash through lines of monsters as you evolve your fairies, add dragons and unlock quests. Everwing proves that file size does not limit the fun in this new game experience.

  • Endless Lake by Spilgames (EMEA) – Jump through the endless lake as your character doubles or quadruples. Use your skills to bring them all across the lake safely and challenge your friends in this addictive and beautiful game.

  • Hex FRVR by FRVR (NA) – Easy to play and hard to master, this fun engaging relaxing puzzle game does not use time limits but progression and patience to entertain users on messenger.

Facebook's 2016 Best Facebook Integrations

  • Genies & Gems by Jam City (NA),Login, Friend Finding, Sharing – US-based developer Jam City (formerly SGN Games) turned to the power of Facebook's mobile tools to let players log in, find their friends and share the fun of helping Jenni the genie navigate through mystical worlds.

  • Total War Battles: KINGDOM by Creative Assembly (EMEA),WebGL, Gameroom – The successful mobile game utilized Facebook's large desktop presence to reach new audiences. By porting the game to Gameroom and Facebook web in WebGL in one go, Sega was able to drive significant growth for its hit game.

  • Shuffle Cats by King (EMEA),Web, Mobile, Instant Games – Using all the power of Facebook, Shuffle Cats takes Rummy to new heights. This title launched not only across platforms but also as a mini version on Instant Games.

Facebook's 2016 Best Use of Facebook Live

  • by Blizzard (NA) – First integration of Live video that lets players stream Overwatch, World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2 and more to their Facebook friends directly from within the Blizzard client.

  • Texas HoldEm Poker by Zynga (NA) – Taking player engagement to the next level by combining the visual aspects of poker with Facebook Live, this game features a daily live stream to its community.

  • Seven Knights by Netmarble Games (APAC) – Seven Knights started streaming live content to its popular Facebook fan page. The game's first Facebook Live video hit over 14K views. Seeing this potential, Netmarble decided to make Facebook one of its main streaming channels, going Live regularly and in turn generating more faithful customers.

What a year it has been for games in 2016! We can't wait to see what next year brings, and we look forward to continuing to make the world more open and connected through games.