Social gaming, both expanding and diversifying the gamer population, has been maturing at rapid pace resulting in heavy consolidation, while at the same time leaving room for innovation. Drawing in part on 2010’s social gaming summit, consultancy activities in the social gaming sector and academic interests, in this article I look at three broad social gaming trends for 2011.
Trend 1. Mobile Social Gaming
’2011 will see the rise of mobile social games, both on Facebook as well as on other platforms such as iOS (Apple), Android Market and HTML5.’
Trend 2. Location Based Social Gaming
‘Backed by location based services, 2011 will see the rise of niche products in which cohesive communities will be served with innovative and meaningful products.’
Trend 3. Social Advergames
When properly executed, advergames are an extremely effective marketing tool. Disney acquired social game developer Playdom in July 2010 with the likely rationale of brand proliferation of Disney’s intellectual property rights through Playdom’s games and reach. McDonalds was one of the first and most visible to actually engage in social advergaming by taking over Farmville for a day in the form of a gigantic in game dynamic advertisement. Whereas Frima has attempted to iterate on the success of Farmville in favor of Mazda by developing Mazda’s DriverVille.
‘As companies have become aware of the strength of social media in 2010, 2011 will see the rise of holistic social advergames.’