Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Facebook Lures 200 Million With Poker

CM Comment: Yet another example of casual games (very often casino-themed) being the "hit" content that draws them in.

April 5, 2009: summarized from Financial Times -- Spectacular growth in online social gaming is prompting companies such as Google to enter the market and developers to rethink how they design video games. The trend is seeing the social network Facebook emerge as the world's biggest gaming platform. It is closing on 200 million active members and its most popular application installed by users is a game - Texas Hold 'em poker - played by 11 million people.

Social gaming was a hot topic at the recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. "The biggest shift is that, in the past, most of the social gaming has been with people that you don't know, with Facebook that's completely changed," said Brian Fargo, a game developer. He described a bowling game on Facebook where he can see all of his friends and their high scores. "I want to play now because I want to beat them. The social dynamic of knowing the people out there really changes things for me," he said. "So you're saying that we've found a way to monetize peer pressure," responded Will Wright, creator of The Sims and Spore.

Online gaming on services such as Microsoft's Xbox Live, which has 17 million members worldwide, or PC casual gaming destinations such as Pogo or Big Fish, generally takes place between strangers. "Social gaming is the new casual," says Michael Cai, video game analyst at the Interpret research firm, referring to the previous hot trend. "If the casual gaming portals don't pay attention and take action as their audience migrates to some of these social gaming platforms then they are going to lose their business for sure."

Full story at: http://tinyurl.com/cgfhe7

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