Gaming on social networks has quickly become the most visible category of online games

Gaming on social networks has quickly become the most visible category of online games. Currently, more than 250 million people play games like Zynga's CityVille and FarmVille on Facebook every month, and both game developers and marketers have taken notice. Big brands such as McDonald’s and 7-Eleven have carried out cross-promotions with existing social games.

In addition, the social gaming industry has improved user monetization. While early entrants often missed revenue opportunities, new gameplay innovations incentivize players to buy virtual items such as virtual tractors, seed, or rare swords to build status, improve the gaming experience, or gain a competitive edge.

The most powerful asset of social game developers is the quantity of behavioral data that they can obtain from their games. The abilities to measure the efficacy of different gameplay mechanisms, to tweak game design in near-real time, and to test new models are advantages that traditional gaming companies will never have. Zynga’s huge market share is the best proof of the competitive advantage made possible by properly leveraging consumer data.

Parks Associates' Social Gaming: Market Updates focuses on the growing importance of social gaming. It analyzes the industry, market dynamics, and business models and provides revenue forecasts and analysis on monetization opportunities.

Tags: gaming

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