Posts Tagged ‘social gaming

“We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy”…. Rovio sees it as “futile” to pursue pirates through the courts, except in cases where it feels the products they are selling are harmful to the Angry Birds brand, or ripping off its fans. When that’s not the case, Rovio sees it as a way to attract more fans, even if it is not making money from the products. “Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day.”

Mikael Hed via  Stuart Dredge


28 million UK internet users are casual gamers – amounting to 67% of all internet users. More than 40% of time spent on Facebook is spent on playing social games. 19% of game players even claim they are “addicted” to social games

UK National Gamers Survey via Jo Stratmann

Knowing (much of) its male target audience love football and nightclubbing, Ogilvy Argentina cleverly found a way to bring these two social objects together in a fun, real-world setting for Budweiser. As the video shows – the giant-sized pool table with football sized balls led to enthusiastic engagement and extensive tv coverage (via SimplyViral).

It was most impressive to see the EA initiative to donate revenue from in-game sales of FIFA 11 Ultimate Team Packs for one day (26 May 2011) to the Japan relief effort. This video from some gamers who bought the packs on the day shows:

a) How gamers can be encouraged to engage in socially beneficial activity within interactive entertainment – and feel good doing so

c) How much these ‘packs’ or, rather more specifically the virtual players within them, mean to FIFA 11 game players

d) How brands and campaigning organisations can think about entering in a seamless, engaging way into connected online games

(Video contains swearing)

Social games are big business – they also represent a chance for people to donate quickly and easily as part of their entertainment experience. Users are accustomed to buying items in-game on Facebook with Zynga’s Farmville, Cityville and Poker. Now they can send payments to the disaster effort in Japan by purchasing virtual sweet potato crops, cows and radishes.

Last year there was some mistaken controversy over donations for Haiti (in excess of $2.5 million) via Zynga games. This time around Zynga will no doubt be careful to ensure the message is heard that money raised will directly help the Japanese effort. And with the phenominally successful Cityville included, this round of in-game fundraising should well exceed what was raised then.

If the social gaming and ‘gamification‘ trend continues, tying up play with fundraising will represent a increasingly lucrative potential revenue-stream for the not-for-profit sector, still suffering the effects of the recession.

Zynga Enables Donations To Tsunami Relief Through In-Game Purchases Social gaming giant Zynga has joined the Internet’s efforts at donating to Japanese Tsunami relief tonight, by enabling in-game donations through virtual good buying in Zynga games like FrontierVille, FarmVille and CityVille as of 7pm PST. 100% of the virtual goods purchase prices will be donated to Tsunami relief. Zynga will be specifically partnering with Save the Children to raise money for its Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children Emergency Fund. … Read More

via TechCrunch

Japanese tsunami picture via the British Red Cross

“Today, the company says that it has 5.2 million daily active users, less than two weeks after launch”

Jason Kincaid

What’s interesting about Frontierville’s ‘success’ is:

  1. The high bar that’s been set by previous Zynga games – leading to this TechCrunch analysis focusing on number of gamers (but not harder to find success measures like… revenue) 
  2. Avatars can engage in both heterosexual and same-sex marriage
  3. Wondering whether blood and guts video games merchants will become increasingly keen to stave off the threat of these, well, nice games… In which case they will probably want to hire this guy:


There is a real need for more and more organisations to embrace new ways of sustaining their online operations. However explaining monetisation avenues can be difficult – the how and why profit can be achieved just doesn’t add up for those struggling to hold on to models best suited to the old economy

I saw Paulina Bozek speak on The Rise of Social Games:  New Trends and Future Directions for Interactive Entertainment’ at LSE today – as part of ‘Orientation Festival 2009’. (Not sure what happened to Freshers Fair, but not being so Fresh anymore, the new title works for me).

I found her lecture very interesting, a walk through gaming history and the latest in social gaming innovations. She referred to the concept of disruptive innovation, essentially improving a product or service in a way the market doesn’t expect, often by conceiving simpler solutions to those currently dominating (in relation to the Wii and Songstar).

Although the material presented was not particularly new to me personally, what struck me was how well she explained social web principles to the mainly non-technical audience. She seamlessly introduced the freemium model – giving examples of the Zinger (Farmville) and Playfish games on Facebook – both of which make money via micropayments. Presentation of the freemium equation in this context was so simple, it could get even the most cynical MDs on-side. 

Total number of users x Conversion rate x Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU)

This model holds that if you provide a useful service for free, and attract many, many users (millions if you’re lucky) – you can sustain your website or application by charging a fee to a small percentage of users. Paulina told us that Farmville have amassed 50 million active players in just 5 months, Playfish 82 million across several social games. We live in a world where the marginal costs of digital distribution approach and reach zero – thus working on creaming some money off the top makes far better sense than restricting the user base with pay walls for membership and other core social actions. It is surprising what people will pay for a virtual ornament for their virtual house – it is those extras that can be monetised. In other words, it pays well to welcome the free-riders and then pay special attention to that all important conversion rate.

This blog is about utilizing and optimizing the social web for business, pleasure and social change

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