Monday, February 27, 2012

Social Gaming So Popular on Facebook and Google

Games and social media a natural match. With the exception of solitaire, most games involve at least two players. This infographic explores some of the ways that games have found an audience on social platforms like Facebook and Google+.

To create this infographic, Prism Casino took a look at Facebook user satisfaction scores to come up with a top ten list of favorite social games. Casinos, hidden objects and role-playing games top the list of favorite styles, passing trivia games like “Trivial Pursuit,” word games like “Scrabble,” and strategy games like chess that are very popular offline.  The “Scrabble”-style game “Words With Friends” is on there, but in terms of actual usage, “FarmVille,” “Mafia Wars” and “Bejeweled Blitz” remain the top three social games played in the US and UK.

The business model for social gaming is also different from that of board games, playing cards, and even traditional video games in that people can’t just buy a self-contained game and bring it home. Online games require maintenance, and thus subscriptions. The infographic also gives stats on revenue through advertising and virtual goods.  The free version of Words With Friends, for example, shows gamers an ad after every word they play. It must be working, because ad spending on gaming has increased 60 percent since 2009.
The mobility of the social game could be one explanation for its popularity. Games haven’t always been easy to carry around – arcade games weigh more than the players, and even the travel-sized version of “Boggle” still makes that clicking noise.  But a game of “Words With Friends” on a mobile phone with the sound turned off is subtle enough to be played in public.  In fact, about 14 percent of social gamers play at work for at least one hour per day.

Facebook has the largest share of the market with 61 percent of users, with Google+ gaining a little bit of traction at 17 percent and MySpace close behind at 15 percent.  Once people have run out of clever status updates and tagged all their pictures, there’s not really much left to talk about. That’s where an invitation to play “Mafia Wars” comes in handy.

In the infographic there is also a break-down of which devices get the most action. The tablet is starting to edge out the traditional gaming console, with 66 percent of tablet owners using the devices to play social games.  If people turn their tablets into gaming consoles and only use their gaming consoles to watch Netflix, what’s next for the television set?

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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Future of Social Gaming 2012

2011 will be remembered as the year that Zynga filed for its IPO, Google launched Google+, and Facebook executed the Credits transition. With the first potential social gaming IPO, Zynga plans to raise up to $2 billion to fund its continued global expansion. Meanwhile, Google is putting its weight behind what appears to have the potential to be the most serious competitor to Facebook as a social gaming platform in North America since the demise of MySpace. And at the same time, developers are still navigating through the Facebook Credits migration, while many are also expanding substantially onto mobile platforms to increase growth and expand reach.

Inside Network is proud to announce a new original research report by Justin Smith and Charles Hudson that is exclusively focused on the future of the social gaming market, entitled Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012. This is Inside Network's third annual edition of the Future of Social Gaming report. It will be released on September 20, but is available for discount pre-order now.

How big is the market, and where will social gaming go in 2012? How will existing players fare as Facebook Credits shifts the social gaming landscape and continued changes to the platform? Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012 provides deeper insight into social game monetization, development, customer acquisition, and the key questions facing the space in 2012 than you'll find anywhere else.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Social Gamers Spend 75 Percent Of Social Networking Time Playing Games

Social game developer, RockYou, and the marketing research firm, Interpret, announced the latest findings of their ‘Social Gamer Thought Leadership Study’. The study is the first-of-its-kind as it analyzes behaviors, motivations, and purchase intent among the US social gaming demographic. The results both reaffirm existing assumptions and provide some insightful information about social gamers. More after the jump.

The study surveyed a range of over 2,000 social gamers in the US aged 18 and older, 60% female and 40% male, who play at least one hour a week. The results break down the social gaming market into four types of social gamers: players willing to spend money to get ahead, hardcore players who like to brag about their achievements, non-tech savvy players who just want to play for free, and those that play a lot but still don’t want to spend any money (see infographic).
“RockYou is investing in the development of the social gaming landscape and its growth as a powerful advertising medium,” Julie Shumaker, SVP and GM of Media at RockYou said. “This study enables us to better understand social gamers and their motivations and provide advertisers, agencies, and social game developers with actionable information they can leverage in a rapidly evolving social economy.”

According to the study, the average social gamer spends an average of 9.5 hours playing games out of the 13 average hours they spend on social networks. The average user has about 16 real-life friends playing these games with them and has made 20 new friends through social games.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spil Games Report: Young Males Generate up to €45 in Average Monthly Revenue per Paying User

Male teenage players generate some of the highest average revenue per paying user (ARPPU), resulting in as much as €45 monthly per user in Germany, according to internal research by Dutch online gaming company Spil Games.

Among female players farm games are very popular as Spil sees conversion rates of over 4% in some countries. Since introducing social games in July 2011, global average revenue per user (ARPU) grow by almost 30% each month, reports Spil Games.

The company’s localized network of online social-gaming platforms tailored to girls, teens, and families reaches 170 million monthly unique visitors from around the world.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Brazil’s Social Gaming Market Projected to Reach $238M by 2014

The social gaming market in Brazil is predicted to grow as large as $238 million by 2014, according to a study by social research firm SuperData. That is a momentous increase from the $136 million the market is predicted to be worth at the end of the year.

The social games market study is based on the behavior of 2,414 users in the region, predicting the user base will also reach 52.3 million by 2014. Right now, Brazil makes up 35 percent of the Latin American social gaming market and five percent of the global market, according to another study released last month by research firm Newzoo.

In Brazil, the average gain per paying user is $1.87, practically $.50 less compared to North America. However, the largest social network in the region is Orkut. Usine electronic wallets is the most popular form of payment in the region to access the Internet.

The Orkut possesses 66 million active users — virtually 60 percent of which come from Brazil. SuperData reports that games played on platforms, excluding Facebook, such as Orkut, are predicted to gain $5.6 billion in revenue by 2014.

“With social game revenue growing more than 36 percent over the past year alone, there are real opportunities to capture [the] market,” said Janelle Benjamin of SuperData.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Inside Social Apps 2012

Inside Social Apps will be a two-day summit that brings together the world's leading entrepreneurs to weigh in on the future of social app and game monetization amidst current challenges. Inside Social Apps take a unique investigative approach to discussion moderation. At Inside Social Apps, Inside Network will work alongside founders and CEOs of the top social gaming, mobile social gaming, payments, and virtual goods infrastructure companies to analyze the toughest issues affecting the industry. Inside Social Apps is geared towards developers on Facebook, iPhone, Android, and emerging online social platforms.

Inside Social Apps takes place February 8-9, 2012 in San Francisco and is comprised of two full days of critical discussion, and an evening and nighttime of casual networking on the first night.

About Inside Network

Inside Social Apps is brought to you by Inside Network, the first company dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform and social gaming ecosystem. Inside Network is based in Palo Alto, California, and was started by Justin Smith in 2006.

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