UK's Playfish among first to integrate with Facebook on iPhone

UK-based Playfish will be one of the first companies to make use of Facebook Connect on the iPhone. At SXSW COO Sebastien de Halleux today stood alongside Facebook’s Dave Morin to say that three of the top ten games on Facebook – made by Playfish – are now on the iPhone (Geo Challenge, Word Challenge, and Who Has The Biggest Brain). Tapuluous, the smash hit iPhone music games company founded by Belgian-bor entreprenuer Bart Decrem, will also be using the Facebook Connect API on the iPhone

I managed to grab de Halleux just after the press conference. He said the new Facebook Connect API for iPhone is wrapped in Cocoa – this allows you to do two things. First, import Facebook Friends into the iPhone app. Secondly, to export stories into your Facebook Wall from the app.

He said: It allows us to build a social game on mobile which involves your real-world friends. There are 20,000 games on the iphone right now but the difference here is that the game itself is being subsumed by the fact that it’s your real friends playing it. You want to do it almost less because of the game itself, than the fact you can play your friends on it.”

However, the obvious additional aspect of doing a social game on the iPhone is leveraging the ability of the handset to find your location. “At this stage the games are not location-based,” de Halleux told me ” but there’s nothing to prevent us doing that in the future.”

de Halleux emphasised that the social aspects of gaming are going to transform the $50bn gaming industry, and it’s hard to argue against that.