New Revenue Models Augments Social Gaming.
Social gaming already is big business in Facebook and the top social gaming companies are making anywhere from $60 million to $ 1 billion per year on Facebook Games.
The stickiness and the traffic generated by Facebook games is the engine driving the social games economy
Of the 33 million Indians registered on Facebook (these form a third of the India’s internet population), an estimated 40% indulge in Social Gaming. That’s 13.2 million Indian’s engaging on Facebook as a portal. And a large and influential mass of people to be discounting for any brand based activity. Interestingly enough, Entertainment related brands which are more relevant to digital media are beginning to make their presence on Facebook. Two interesting instances are
1. Launch of Don2, the social game on Facebook in parallel with the Don2 movie featuring Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Kunal Kapoor amongst others. To leverage on the huge popularity of SRK, and the legacy of the Don movies, the Don2 game involves dark and gritty 2D art style gaming with Photo-realistic representations of locations, characters from the movie, weapons and vehicles, Interactive mini-games with multi-layer gaming to unlock special items, weapons and missions with friends, Leader-board system, Global and social ranking. The games include Real and virtual goods received as gifts which could be used as virtual and real monies. The gaming model closely resembles a mash up of Cityville and Mafia Wars. In the true social essence the initial draws will be based upon Facebook Ads, post which the viral effect kicks in, which is fortified with awards and other meet and greet events.
2. Another global launch that is also being worked out through Facebook is the launch of Enrique Iglesias’s new Album through context relevant advertising through the Facebook’s No.1 game: Cityville. The effort is to drive traffic to the Album’s facebook page including the exclusive video and audio snippets of the album’s numbers. That’s a seamless way of integrating awareness, trial, likes and recommendations about Enrique’s new album across 73 million monthly users of Cityville. Earlier we had Lady Gaga’s Gagaville lord over Farmville for the same set of purposes.
These events are particularly interesting as means through which Social Games are evolving from just being a game to a engagement-led and experiential media for brands to talk to its customers. There would be more such integrations as we go forward. If at all, this medium underscores the importance of traffic and stickiness as pre-cursors to revenue generation mechanisms.