The social gaming industry is gaining popularity at a faster rate and is considered to be one of the most growing segments in the online gaming industry. According to a recent survey by the Entertainment Software Association, the popularity of social games has increased by over 50% in the last two years. Along with the casual games, the social games account for the largest share of online games which are being played more often with their share being higher among the games which are frequently played on mobile phones. The social games are preferred not only by the tech-savvy youth but also by the adults. A recent report suggests that the average age of a social game player is nearly 40 years.
It is believed that in recent years, the revenue earned from social games is going to be nearly 50%. the world’s number one social network, Facebook has generated nearly 2 billion US dollars for the developers from the list of gamer’s purchase of virtual goods in the social games via their network payment infrastructure. Industry sources have reported to the Forbes that the number of social games available increased from 100 million to several hundred million in a matter of 3 years. All the video game publishers are continuously trying to acquire more and more social game developers and trying to launch more games and making them more available and attractive. For example, nowadays you can also play social games like Virgin casino while you are video chatting or on your social network handle.
The publishers taking on more platforms
Another unique trend which is visible from mergers and acquisitions and other industrial news is that the game publishers are trying to conquer and acquire multiple platforms utilized for gaming such as mobile devices, consoles, browsers, social networks etc. A significant example is of the global gaming industry leader, EA games who made a strategic move and acquired the Mobile gaming firm Glu and other social game developers such as Playfish. In another hand, Zynga one of the largest manufacturers of social games decided on making efforts to become less tied to Facebook and now have acquired the mobile game developer Natural Motion. They decided on taking this risk after noticing that the mobile gamers account for the largest chunk in the audience of the social game.
The publishers have decided to increase the monetization
Keeping aside the increasing growth and the intensifying competition, the main issue for social gamers is the monetization. Unique concepts like the freedom to pay and the pay in-game concept known as the freemium have become quite popular. However, according to a recent survey, less than 10% of social gamers spend money on free games.
The publishers can work on scale and try to attract more and more users so that even these small numbers can pay off and at the same time they will get a large chunk of players to pay for the virtual goods and the upgrades that they make in the apps.