Social gamingSocial games encourage sharing between players, and run off social networks as a result, with Facebook being the most popular. Usually, players are tasked withbuilding towards or maintaining a goal, and are rewarded for interacting with each other, and for getting friends to play along, too. Most social games fall under the free-to-play category as well. Zynga is currently by far the biggest developer and distributor of social games.Some of Zynga’s most popular works include FarmVille, CityVille, and Mafia Wars
Facebook gamesFacebook is home to a multitude ofsimple games played by millions. Whatmakes these games different fromother games? Here are some factorsthat set them apart from other gameswe have looked at:
Facebook games• Turn-based – a social game is not social unless you are playing with another person. As such, social games enable users to take turns. Although turn-based games are nothing new, they are a frequent feature of “social games”.
Facebook games• Awareness of others’ actions in games – this was the catalyst for “social gaming.” When you see in your news feed that one of your friends just bit another friend to turn them into a vampire, suddenly there’s social context – making you more likely to interact with the game.
Facebook games• Casual gaming – “social gaming” is not really for core/hardcore gamers. Social gaming is for the average user and not for someone who plans on playing 24 hours a day. However, some social games can become addictive…
Facebook games• Multiplayer – You can’t be social without there being other people so whether it’s two or two hundred users, the game has to multiplayer for it to be social.
Facebook games• Based on social platforms – They are based around social networking sites – with Facebook being the obvious site they are found on. This means that newcomers do not have to go far to find new games and they are almost always instantly understandable and instantly playable – there aren’t “minimum system requirements” or any costs involved.
The story of Zynga• Zynga is a company that develops games for use on social networking websites such as Facebook and Google+, as well developing games for Apple iOS and Android• As of July 2012, Zynga’s games had over 306 million monthly active users – this is the standard for measuring success in the social gaming market, also shortened to MAU.
The story of Zynga• If you have ever played a game on Facebook the chances are it will have been developed by Zynga! If you haven’t, I bet someone on your newsfeed has!• In 2010, Zynga signed an exclusivity deal with Facebook for new titles to come to Facebook first. The relationship between Zynga and Facebook is definitely symbiotic – in 2011, Zynga generated 12% of Facebook’s total revenue.
Blog Tasks for Lesson 1Most of this information can be found on the Zynga Wikipedia page or on theZynga post on the year 12 Blog.• PART 1: Research what the business model is for Zynga ie. How can a company that allows consumers to play their game for free be profitable? How do they make their money? Remember: They are a business, not a charity! £££• PART 2: Research Farmville 2 that was released this month – what strategies have Zynga used to promote their new game? They use different tactics from our regular AAA console games. You will need to finish this task at home by having a play on Facebook or by playing their apps – not just Farmville 2 but some other Zynga games.
Reading up on Zynga• Due to the nature of Zynga’s business, they are always in the news for some reason! I have put a handful of articles up on my Blog for you to read – you need to become regular digesters of all things gaming, especially any of the companies we have looked at (Rockstar, Mojang, Activision, Zynga)• Task for lesson 2: Read several current news articles about Zynga (Google News or Bing News) and summarise the issues involving the social gaming market today.
Tasks that need to be completed by next lesson:3 Blogposts to do with social gaming – try toinclude details and statistics to flesh out youranswers, not one sentence posts or copy/pasting!1. Zynga’s business model – how do they make money?2. Case study on Farmville 2: How is it marketed?3. Read up on Zynga in the news – summarise the current state of the social gaming market todayThursday (L22): Revisiting convergence and other issues highlighted from the halfway tests!
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