Since Facebook users started playing poker and tending their virtual farms in their droves just five years ago in 2009, many a fortune has been made through social gaming. Most game developers are small independents grinding out a living doing what they love to help others do what they love. Occasionally though a company rises up and becomes a ‘monster’. In the world of social gaming, where millions of players can flock to games rapidly, these monsters can awaken almost overnight from anywhere across the globe. Below are ten good examples.

With the huge global popularity of social gaming it was only a matter of time before it made the crossover into the world of employment and business. The development of games for specific purposes for specific companies is not yet widespread, but some notable brands have started to use it for recruitment purposes.

Facebook started in 2004 and celebrated its tenth anniversary earlier this year. Back then games were largely bought to play on the PC, PS2, Xbox, Game Cube or Gameboy Advance; leading games were the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Halo 2, Pokemon and Need for Speed. Although gaming was undoubtedly massive, it was still a niche; it hadn’t been brought to the masses. Fast forward ten years and it’s a very different story: games with 100 million active players and a total number of worldwide game players running into billions. Facebook has played a key role in shaping this landscape – here’s a brief history and look at what’s ahead.