Worms on Facebook (lost browser artillery turn-based strategy game; 2013)
Worms on Facebook (also known as Worms for Facebook) was an artillery turn-based strategy game developed by Team 17 as part of the Worms series. Released in February 2013, It marked the series' first release on a social network platform, although it ultimately closed on 31st October that same year.
Worms on Facebook was first announced in July 2012, with some screenshots being released. After a closed beta commenced in August 2012, the game would be fully released in February 2013, marking Team 17's 62nd game release and also its first free-to-play title.
Aside from containing the typical Worms experience, Worms on Facebook included a few exclusive features not too dissimilar to other Facebook games, including daily rewards, tasks and weekly challenges. Unlike other Worms games however, Worms on Facebook did not rely on randomly generated landscapes, due to the limitations of Flash. According to designer Jax Li, the workaround was splitting the landscapes into four different sections containing multiple versions that would be selected randomly, enabling landscapes to generally differ as each game was played. Designer Mark Dimond also noted the challenges involved in avoiding the game turning into a pay-to-win experience, hence why grinding mechanics, daily rewards, and challenges were incorporated into the game.
Team 17 also had plans to incorporate weekly updates, including new maps, weapons, hats, modes and levels, and even boss battles. As fellow Team 17 titles Superfrog and Alien Breed were receiving new releases, there were also ambitions to add weapons and hats based on those titles into Worms on Facebook too.
On 21st October 2013, Team 17 announced that Worms on Facebook would be closed on 31st October. The main reasons listed at the time were rising maintenance costs and changes to Facebook infrastructure led to the game becoming unviable for Team 17 to continue operating. In Team 17's 100 Games list, published on 4th January 2019, it was also noted that rising smartphone usage and Facebook gaming's attempts to meet the needs of a causal market would make Worms on Facebook's desktop design be redundant anyway.
Nevertheless, Dimond expressed that he and his team were proud of their efforts for the game, stating "Our ragtag team of newbies and old-school Teamsters pulled off something that some thought couldn’t be done. It may have been short lived, but getting a great Worms experience on the Facebook platform was a huge design and technical success story. Most Facebook games of the time were nothing more than ‘click to collect’ experiences, whereas we had live multiplayer with real time Worms battling!"
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- Pocket Gamer reporting on the announcement of Worms on Facebook. Retrieved 4th May '22
- Polygon reporting on Worms on Facebook entering the closed beta stage. Retrieved 4th May '22
- Daily Record reporting on the full release on Worms on Facebook and detailing its features. Retrieved 4th May '22
- Team 17 detailing Worms on Facebook's development, its challenges, and why it closed. Retrieved 4th May '22
- Team 17 announcing the closure of Worms on Facebook. Retrieved 4th May '22