Busting 10 social games myths

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Published on July 29, 2010

Author: ICOPartners

Source: slideshare.net

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From the keynote presented at the Making Games: Social Media Summit.
Speaker: Thomas BIDAUX

Busting social gamesmyths Making Games: Social Media Summit Munich, July 2010

Myth #0 I am fluent in german

I am fluent in German Thomas BIDAUX ICO Partners Consulting agencyspecialisingin Online games A selection of 10 myths about social games

Myth #1 Social Games are new

Social games are new Facebook & social networks Kongregate MMOs & Browser games Boardgames Games…

Social games are new Games have always been social – the new elementis the persistenceof the social graph and its use for marketing purposes.

Myth #2Social games are social

Social games are social Whenwas the last time youplayed *with* someone on a facebookgame? Social is a misnomer– the gamessit on the social networks. The majority are not social, they are viral. This ischangingthough, more recentgames are integratingfeatureswhereyou are more engagedwithyourfriends (arguably, Poker games have donethisfromday one). Check out: ParadisePaintball, Frontierville

Myth #3Social gamers are casualgamers

Social gamers are casualgamers Whatis a casualgamer? Social gamesaretaking a hugeshare of the social gamespace – but not only. CasualGamers are not casual. Social Gamers are not casualgamers.

Social gamers are casualgamers More gamesemerging on social networks for thehardcore audience as well. Niche isrich. Check out: Verdonia, Warstorm

Myth #4Social means free marketing

Social means free marketing Marketing isnever free. Earlydays, acquisition was cheap on Facebook: Viralitywasreallyhigh (as well as spam) Ad markethad few companiesinvesting in it

Social means free marketing The situation has changed. Typicalaverage CPA has gone from 10c to 1$ (for actorswhoalready have a verystrong brand recognition)

Social means free marketing Relatedmini-Myth: You need to spam yourway to success It used to be possible, but Facebookchanged the rules – isstillchangingthemactually. Reactivityis one of the new challenges…

Myth #5Social games are easy to make

Social games are easy to make In the past 2 years, the quality has reallyincreased. The quality of execution has drivendevelopment budgets up.

Social games are easy to make Viralityis not easy to design within a game. Business models are not easy to design within a game. New technical challenges as well: scalability, database.

Myth #6Social games are not real games

Social games are not real games Typical social games have: Lowskillrequirement High commitmentrequirement The gameindustry has been therebefore: PS3/Xbox vs Wii Hardcore vs Casual The industryisexpanding and sois the definition of games.

Myth #7This is an americanmarket

This is an American market EvenconsideringjustFacebook, thisis a wrong perception: 30% of the Facebookuser base islocated in the US Lookingat local networks makesiteven more obvious: StudiVZ (15M users in Germany) TencentQQ

Thisis an Americanmarket Both the verystrong push fromSiliconValleyand the easier, unifiedmarketexplainthe US focus. However,somecompanies have been quitesuccessfulusing localisation as part of theirstrategy (6 Wavesis a good example). High quality localisation has yet to happen.

Myth #8Designed by numbers

Designed by numbers The ZyngaStrategy Clone a successful and provengameUse metricsFind the successfulformulasImprove the viralityto deathThis strategy has been verysuccessful for Zynga and isbeingused by mostdevelopersnow.

Clone a successful and provengame

Use metrics

Find the successfulformulas

Improve the viralityto death

Designed by numbers That strategy has been verysuccessful for Zynga and isbeingused by mostdevelopersnow. A very good method to maximise acquisition and virality. Not so good for retention.

Designed by numbers SeemslikeZynga has reached the bottom of the bucket. Nowmovingintomanuallydesignedmechanisms to improve: retention! Check out: Frontierville

Myth #9An indie business

An indie business Certainlytrue in the earlydays. Recent acquisitions: Playfishacquired by EA Playdomacquired by Disney

An indie business Stillverystrongindependentstudios around. No traditionalindustryactor has managed to get real momentum in the space… yet. Many are trying: Ubisoft, Bigpoint, Gameforge, Frogster, SOE…

Myth #10The opportunity has passed

The opportunity has passed Facebook has been dominated by the same few actorslately. Very few successful new entrants. (Crowdstar) Whowillbe the next?

The opportunity has passed Costs of entry skyrocketing. Investments in the spaceveryhigh as well. This is the veryearly stage – a vastnumber of opportunities are still to beexplored.

Myths & answers

Thank you! thomas@icopartners.com www.linkedin.com/in/tbidaux www.icopartners.com/blog @icotom www.slideshare.net/ICOPartners

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