Facebook’s Game of the Year award goes to Gardenscapes, a match-3 game created by the relatively unknown mobile game publisher Playrix.
The win is a nice recognition for Playrix, the Vologda, Russia-based company that has quietly become the No. 2 mobile game publisher in Europe, behind Supercell in Finland. Playrix has grown to more than 450 employees on the strength of mobile games such as Gardenscapes, Township, and Fishdom.
Facebook’s list of the top games of the year is different from most hardcore game publications. It puts a priority on titles that the widest group of people can play on any device, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Facebook’s audience is more casual, and that explains in part why Gardenscapes won. Going forward, Facebook is investing in titles such as Instant Games, which you can play instantly in Facebook Messenger or your news feed without downloading an app.
Calvin Grunewald, engineering manager for games at Facebook, said that the awards recognize “the games, developers and publishers that have made an impression on us and their players.”
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