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  • 1. Gamer 2.0 : Exploring the use of Gaming Community & Social Media Karen O’Brien, Partner Chris Terschluse, Analyst Crimson Interactive Services August, 2009 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 2. Agenda Research Goals Current Gaming Trends Gamer Personas Gaming Community & Social Media Best Practices Introduction to Crimson Consulting 1 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 3. Research Goals Overview of current gaming trends and use of social media and community by gamers Provide insight into gamer lifestyle, behavior, needs, desires, and motivation Highlight best practices of gaming communities and their use of social media tools 2 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 4. Today’s Gaming Trends 3 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 5. Summary of Gaming Trends New game experiences and casual gaming have changed gamer demographics Gamers want gaming experiences that are customizable and interactive Multiple revenue models are utilized to monetize games Gamers now demand social experiences within games The use of social networks is growing at an exponential rate – especially among adults Gamers are avid social networkers, often sharing information such as photos, videos, or blogs. Social media has a major influence on consumer purchase decisions Source: Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, Entertainment Software Association, 2009; Crimson analysis 4 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 6. Trends: Changing Gamer Demographics Gamers are getting older, comprising over half of the US adult population. Who is Playing Video Games? US based Gaming Population of 114 million –comprising 52% of adult population 21% percent of adults report playing daily Source: Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, Entertainment Software Association, 2009 5 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 7. Trends: Changing Gamer Demographics Online and mobile casual gaming is growing. Who is Playing Video Games Online Source: Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, Entertainment Software Association, 2009 6 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 8. Trends: Changing Gamer Demographics Casual and fitness games are changing the gamer demographic. Video Games Appeal to Everyone Growth in the Casual Game Industry Online gamers are more educated and earn a higher Nintendo Wii & DS annual income Moderate video gamers have an aggregate “In the wake of the introduction of income of $1.4 trillion, or 35% of the aggregate these two new systems, internal Nintendo research showed a 42% income of all video-gamer players, compared to increase in DS purchases among the $766 billion of avid gamers women, a 127% increase among people over 30 and a 212% increase Women among people over 35 during an 18- month period ending in Spring 2007” While women account for only 34% of Avid gamers, they comprise 57% of Moderate and 53% of - Advertising Age, October 15, 2007 Occasional gamers Most online gamers 30 years old and over are women. Female online gamers are especially prevalent among online gamers in the 45+ age group Source: The Adult Video Game Market in the US Packaged Facts ‘09 7 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 9. Trends: Changing Gamer Demographics Casual and fitness games are changing the gamer demographic. Video Games Appeal to Everyone Families Video gamers with children at home account for 52% of all those playing games on their cell phones, 43% of online game players and 46% of those playing offline computer games. Seniors The number of 18- to 24-year-old male video gamers is expected to increase by 7.4%, while the number of video gamers among 55- to 64- year-old men will grow by 34.4% into 2012 Source: The Adult Video Game Market in the US Packaged Facts ‘09 8 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 10. Trends: New Gaming Experiences Video Games are utilized for more than entertainment. Games offer more than just fun Health Benefits Theuse of video games to boost brain power and encourage physical activity is sweeping the senior population - Consumer Reports on Health (September 2007) The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey used the Wii system to help a patient with cerebral palsy, a movement disorder affecting balance and coordination. Exercise Games: Wii Fit & EA Sports Active Games used for education & training 9 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 11. Trends: New Gaming Experiences Augmented reality technology is changing the way we play and interact with video games Microsoft’s Project Natal Technology uses a camera/sensor to track a user's movements, and map that movement to an avatar/character in the game-space – controller free Sony Playstation’s EyeToy & Eye Pet Augmented Reality systems utilizing a motion tracking camera and motion sensors to bring users into the game 10 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 12. Trends: New Gaming Experiences Mobile games allow for virtual game play in real life environments. 11 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 13. Trends: New Gaming Experiences Games need to be interactive and dynamic, creating an alternate reality. Customization Gamers want to influence the storyline or create their own Dynamic Virtual Worlds – 2nd Life, Free Realms, WoW Integration of user generated content (customize in-game characters, environments, avatars, profiles, and personalities) Sims 3 Spore Open API game development and user generated game portals Little Big Planet XNA Creators Club 12 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 14. Trends: New Gaming Experiences Little Big Planet and XNA Creators Club offer customization of characters, objects, and levels player as well as communities for sharing user generated content. Playstation’s LBP online has a community of over 2 million users with an average of 35,373 user- generated levels uploaded each week. As of June 2009, more than 900,000 user-created levels have been published and these had been played 200 million times. Microsoft’s XNA Creators Club allows users to create and build custom games. For a subscription fee, games can be submitted to Microsoft, reviewed, and displayed on the community game portal. Sources: Wikipedia & 13 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 15. Trends: New Gaming Experiences looks to become the YouTube of independently developed video games Any registered user can upload any type of game they have created. Users then rate and review the game – If it garners three stars, it will show up on the list of games. Weekly or monthly contests are held in which the highest rated game of that month/week wins a cash prize Kongregate functions as a social network with in-game chat features, profiles, real time rankings/user standings A built in rewards system awards users points for reviewing games, referring friends, and completing achievements Sources: 14 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 16. Trends: New Gaming Experiences Video game developers experiment with crowdsourced video game development Roundhouse and Firma are creating an online public community of “cartel” to be involved in the development of a new game. Members of the community will be introduced to a democratic voting system and society. Developers will place ideas out to the “cartel” and allow them to decide the direction of the game, genre, storylines, controls, and even the name. Community members will be asked for $50 fee that will guarantee a copy of the game, and will provide incentives along the way to participate Funded by the community. Goal is to get over 100,000 members, generating $5m in revenue up front for development Source: 15 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 17. Trends: Changing Revenue Models Digital game distribution has become scalable and accessible while sales on game consoles and hardware have declined. Changing Revenue Models Ad supported/in-game advertising Subscription Services Digital Game Services Offers/Incentives ( Offerpal, Super Rewards, Peanut Labs etc.) In-Game “microtransactions” 16 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 18. Trends: Changing Revenue Models MapleStory touts success through microtransactions and prepaid cards. Free-of-charge, 2D, side-scrolling MMORPG. Players interact through chatting, trading, and mini-games. Game play enhancements and character appearances are purchased. In 2007 MapleStory sold $30m of digital goods in the US alone with a subscriber base of 6 million – ARPU $20 month As of May ‘08 prepaid cards used to buy game items are now the 2nd best-selling entertainment gift card at Target stores in the U.S., after cards for the iTunes Store DFC’s estimated revenue for 2008 ranges between $150-500m placing it 3rd amongst top 10 revenue generating MMO’s “Estimated $1.8 billion microtransactions or sales of virtual goods in virtual worlds in 2009, worldwide” – Sources: 17 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 19. Trends: Changing Revenue Models IKEA and Ford partner with EA for in-game products. The Sims 2 offers branded virtual goods from IKEA & Ford Users can design their rooms to fit their personalities with IKEA made items including sofas, beds, tables, TVs, desks and much more. Each item is available in a variety of colors and patterns for a customized look More than 3.3 million Ford vehicles have been downloaded in the game, making The Sims the most successful Ford dealership in the world Source: 18 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 20. Trends: Changing Revenue Models Digital game services offer al-a-carte game downloading for the PC and console 19 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 21. Trends: Changing Revenue Models OnLive offers cloud-based gaming services and large scale community infrastructure. 20 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 22. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Gaming and Social Media are blending together to create unique interactive experiences. Gamer Social Capital “One of the central elements of Social Gaming the video gaming experience in Mobile Gaming 2009 is its capacity to serve as a tool to build social networks and Online Gamer Conversation communities – both real and OpenID virtual – as well as to function as a means of pure entertainment.” Gaming Communities The Adult Video Gamer Market in the U.S., Packaged Facts ‘09 Gaming Wiki’s 21 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 23. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Management of reputation and online social capital has grown in importance. Gamers work hard to build their point totals, achievements, and rankings – now they want to share them Reputation tools important to community and can now be displayed on social networking profiles GamerCards help gamers network within their communities, forming clans/guilds with other accomplished players 22 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 24. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Gaming conversations, online and in-game, are being aggregated and shared via social networks and in-game real time streams Gamers form online communities through conversation – discovering, discussing, and sharing trending game topics, news, titles, etc. 23 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 25. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Facebook and MySpace have rapidly growing gaming portals offering titles across a broad range of genres. Facebook and MySpace games allow interaction and game play with friends connected via the individual social networks. Games have a major viral aspect encouraging players to invite friends to play games with them during game play. Games are embedded in user profiles as applications and offer game play statistics and rankings. Social gaming developer Zynga is on track to generate more than $100m in revenue in 2009 MySpace recently announced a new focus as an entertainment portal with a focus on gaming 24 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 26. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Top Facebook gaming apps engage users through customization, ability to play and interact with real friends, and constant development of accessories, add- ons, patches, etc. Pet Society is a free-to-play app that is monetized through virtual goods and advertising Virtual goods improve status and health of pets – when an item is purchased an update is published to the Facebook wall to recognize good care for the users virtual pet. 25 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 27. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Games are played and monetized on all forms of social media Mafia 140 is the first game to monetize through in-game microtransactions on Twitter Designed by Super Rewards, the purchased virtual currency allows users to pay for virtual goods that enhance game play such as health, money, ammunition, etc. Source: 26 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 28. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Trends OpenID web technology allows for the migration of social games off of social networking websites Facebook Connect makes it easier than ever to get new visitors to register and participate by recognizing a unique Facebook ID Makes it easy for community members to advertise participation on the site using the Facebook news feed EA utilizes Facebook Connect with its phone Scrabble gaming app while Zynga uses it in the most popular game on Facebook: Texas Hold ‘Em Source: 27 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 29. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Trends New social gaming platforms create communities around mobile gaming Social gaming platforms for the iPhone offer friend lists, social profiles, leader boards, discovery lobbies, cross promotion, achievements etc. OpenFeint is currently available on 100+ mobile games and open to all developers Platforms are integrated with Facebook (via Facebook Connect) and Twitter in order to provide real time status updates of game play as well as off the ability to play, share, and discover games with existing SN friends Creates viral gaming communities in which games are shared, played, and managed through a simple mobile application 28 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 30. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Social media facilitates strong community interaction: EA’s, The Sims 2, partners with H&M and Yahoo! for a user generated content, contest. Sims 2 users could use the expansion’s tool to design their own outfits. Content was uploaded the the Sims 2 website and finalists were showcased on a virtual fashion runway hosted by Yahoo! More than 1,000 aspiring fashion designers and fans of The Sims submitted designs that were voted on by more than 100,000 people and viewed by more than 500 million people in the six weekly fashion shows on Yahoo. The winning outfit was selected to be manufactured, and will be available in nearly 1,000 stores worldwide Source: 29 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 31. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Gaming wiki’s and widgets are becoming essential for hardcore gamer strategy and communication. 30 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 32. Trends: Gaming Goes Social Alternate Reality Games blurring the lines between gaming, learning and collaboration Sun Microsystems RIA development platform, JavaFX utilized a uniquely different approach that would create awareness, build buzz and excitement, encourage trial/downloads and attract a younger audience of nextgen developers (ages 18-30). is a story-based massive multiplayer online alternate reality game that ran across traditional, social and emerging marketing platforms. Superstruct is the world’s first massively multiplayer forecasting game. By playing the game, you help chronicle the world of 2019- -and imagine how we might solve the problems we'll face. It’s about making the future, inventing new ways to organize the human race and augment collective human potential. 31 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 33. Trends: Social Networks Are Here to Stay Adults continue to join social networks. 43% among those who are online, now use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Linkedin – up from 27% percent a year ago – Consumer Internet Barometer July 2009 Women are more likely than men to use social networking sites (48% versus 38%), but usage has increased dramatically among both groups in just a year – Consumer Internet Barometer July 2009 % w/ Age Profile 18-24 75% 25-34 57% 35-44 30% 45-54 19% 55-64 10% 65+ 7% Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project 2009 32 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 34. Trends: Gamers are Social Networkers Gamers utilize social media, especially apps, widgets, and photo sharing. Apps and Widgets ranked the highest form of media used by gamers in social media Gamers communicate primarily through groups and blogs over forums Gamers are 2x more likely to view, upload or share pictures as compared to video Source: Lotame ID Report: Video Gamers and Social Media 2009 33 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 35. Trends: Gamers Are Social Networkers Gamers are social media participators and influencers. Video Gamers are high participators when it comes to actions. This includes demonstrated activities such as downloading, watching video, or viewing content. More likely to be influencers: creating, sharing, uploading, rating content. Blogging was a likely action of video gamers Source: Lotame ID Report: Video Gamers and Social Media 2009 34 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 36. Trends: Word-of-Mouth more important than ever Influencers drive brand affinity Awareness 1.Close Family & Friends (78%) 90% of consumers surveyed said that 2.Independent Bloggers (59%) they trust recommendations from 3.Contribute to YouTube etc.(49%) people they know, while 70% trusted consumer opinions posted online – Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, July Consideration 2009 Known peer influence still tops the list 1.Contribute to YouTube (49%) for purchase decisions, but social media 2. Anonymous Peer Reviews (43%) 3. Family & Friends (42%) – including corporate and independent blogs produced by key influencers – and user-generated content (UGC) from Action social influencers - play an influential 1. role that meets or beats traditional 1.Close Family & Friends (79%) marketing efforts 2.Anyonymous Peer Reviews (43%) 3.Independent bloggers (21%) - Fluent, The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report 2009 Percentage of type of influence during specific stages of the marketing funnel Source: Fluent, The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report 2009 35 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 37. Gaming Personas 36 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 38. Definitions Hardcore Gamer; n. Term used to describe a type of video game player, or gamer, whose leisure time is largely devoted to playing video games. Typically, they will play a game to mastery before moving on, in the process becoming very knowledgeable about individual games. The opposite of the hardcore gamer is the casual gamer. Casual Gamer; n. Casual gamers are occasional video game players who might not even identify themselves as a gamer. What this group lacks in enthusiasm for the latest and greatest hardware and engrossing game play, they make up in sheer numbers. Source: Wikipedia 37 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 39. Personas – Hardcore Gamer “I would much rather play video games Eric than watch TV. I can accomplish goals Age: 33 and have fun while connecting with IT Manager friends from all over the world, sharing strategies, opinions, reviews of new games and competing to be the next major league gamer” Characteristics His Questions Tech Savvy What’s the best action/adventure game on Facebook? Multi-tasker What is the best online community for gamers like me? Online Critic/Content Creator What kind of gaming related widgets or apps can I download? Socially Active How can I share pictures and video’s of my game play? Impatient Can I get the a better value from video game services like Goal Oriented Steampowered? Strategic Thinker When is the next MLG tournament? Source: 38 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 40. Personas – Hardcore Gamer (continued) HIS STORY A university graduate, who has been playing computer games for almost 12 years, and is an avid video/computer gamer. Eric’s favorite types of games are action adventure, shooter, sports, fighting and his Eric favorite MMOG, World of Warcraft. He plays at least an hour of online multi-player games a week, Age: 28 participates in major league gaming tournaments, and commonly uses the internet to support his in game IT Manager activities by reading and posting to blogs, forums, and reviews on websites such as and He grew up in a single parent household in the Midwest, eats fast food regularly, reads books often, relies on the internet as a news source, and drives a Volkswagon. Eric is a hard worker, constantly striving to improve himself and climb the social ladder in the work place. Eric likes to spend money, especially on computer gadgets. He is fashion forward and admires people who stand out and express themselves. He watches Comedy Central, HBO, and some of his other favorite shows on His favorite websites are, Gamespot, Google, and Facebook. TECHNOLOGY USAGE Eric is very tech savvy and spends three and a half +hours online a day. He was an early adopter of the iPhone, owns an upgraded PC for gaming and constantly communicates with friends online through IM, social networks and email via the PC and more often the mobile phone. He often purchases computer products online and often reads websites such as, or to stay up to date with the latest technology. MARKETING Focused on value and quality, as well as making practical purchase decisions. He Is highly adept at comparison shopping online and is skeptical of big corporations and advertising claims, although he has a slight tendency to be brand loyal. Responds to messaging that dares to “stand out” and is straight forward and fact based. ONLINE ACTIVITY Plays solo and multi-player games on the PC and console, visits game sites, and participates in many online communities and forums, many of which are related to gaming. He has various social networking profiles and proudly sports his Xbox Live game card on his Facebook and MySpace pages. He always keeps up to date with forums of his favorite MOGG’s looking the latest patches, add-ons, and developer blog posts. Eric constantly searches for new and interesting websites utilizing sites like Digg and Reddit, He passes around user generated humorous content, receives and sends photos, streams radio and video, downloads music from paid music sites, and likes to download podcasts, game demos, and movie clips. He plays online multi-player games every week. Previews many products and services and buys online. He will do the research to make sure he is part of the best site and community online for gaming. 39 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 41. Personas – Casual Gamer Sarah “During a busy day at the office, online Age: 39 games are a fun stress reliever that Executive allow me to have a bit of fun and they Assistant help break up the day” Characteristics Her Questions Time Stressed What is the best way to download puzzles and card games to Seeks Moments of Escape my smartphone? Family Oriented If I subscribe will I get new games too? Well Organized Which games are my Facebook friends playing? Adept Purchaser of Products Where can I find fun online shopping games? & Services Online What kind of online games can I play with my kids? What's happening in my Twitter network? 40 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 42. Personas – Casual Gamer (continued) HER STORY She works as an executive assistant at a medium sized company. She is married, has two children, ages 8 and 11, and works four days a week. She looks forward to spending her weekends with family and friends, and doesn’t have much time to herself. She balances a busy schedule and spends a lot of the day on the PC. Several times a day, during a few minutes of downtime, she plays games online or on her Sarah cell phone to relax and escape. Recently she has begun to play games on her Blackberry downloading Age: 39 games and applications like Bejeweled or Peggle, and social networking games like Pet Society and YoVille. She finds the interaction with her friends new and exciting. She mainly likes games that are Executive ‘quick hits” such as Puzzle, Board, Show, Trivia or Card games that are fun to play and can be played Assistant quickly so she can get on with her work day. She often has lunch at her desk, and tries to get home so she can play with the kids. She also enjoys playing online educational games at home with her two children on sites such as She drives a Ford Escape. Her favorite shows on TV include So You Think You Can Dance, Grey’s Anatomy, and Desperate Housewives. Favorite websites include and during the day during breaks at work, Yahoo for news, IM, email, movie previews and schedules, and for her music downloads. She loves the shop, especially online, and is always looks for the good deals and incentives to buy. TECHNOLOGY USAGE Sarah is uses the PC all day at work and has a Blackberry provided by her company, she spends more than one hour a day on her PC and phone playing games. She organizes her busy schedule online, manages her finances, coordinates her mobile devices with her PC and iPod. She uses a digital camera, shares photos with friends and prints her own pictures from her printer. She is new to social networks such as Facebook, but has been recently spending more time on them searching for old friends and playing games. MARKETING Focused on value and quality, as well as making practical purchase decisions and is adept at comparison shopping. She is skeptical of big corporations and advertising claims, and is not especially brand loyal. Responds to messaging that dares to “stand out” and is sincere. ONLINE ACTIVITY She plays fast access arcade games, mostly her favorite game. She plays it fast, plays it often, she loves incentivized games, signs up gaming subscriptions on game sites, streams and watches clips from her favorite TV shows, upcoming movies and news. She keeps up to date with her friends on IM, email and social networks, sends and receives photos constantly, and downloads music and pod casts. She also downloads games to her mobile phone. An expert online shopper, she buys clothing and many other products and services online. 41 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 43. Personas – Technographic Profiles Eric Sarah Age, geography, and gender impact the adoption and use of social media technologies Hardcore gamers are more apt to join social networks and maintain profiles, use social bookmarking and RSS feeds, and publish blogs, post articles, comments, and upload multimedia. Casual gamers are more apt to post ratings/reviews of products or comment on blogs and forums Source: 42 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 44. Gaming Community & Social Media Best Practices 43 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 45. Innovation to meet expectations for new technology/ enhanced gaming experiences Blur the lines between reality and the virtual game experience Create new gaming experiences that offer practical benefits such as exercise, education, training, etc. Allow gamers to become long term contributors and participants within the gaming community Encourage gamers to express themselves through custom profiles, pages, avatars, characters, or entire games Create dynamic gaming titles which allow for extended game play and advancement over time (patches, add-ons, upgrades etc.) 44 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 46. Offer unique, exclusive content on a daily or weekly basis Weekly blog posts, podcasts or video segments discussing game news, reviews, previews, interviews Insight into real-time gaming trends and conversations across the web Allow users to upload UGC such as game reviews and ‘lifestyle’ content (allow users to share what they think is cool) Surveys and Feedback Invite users to participate in a survey and ask questions about what content they would like to see on the site Some users will really appreciate that they are getting to shape the content on the site 45 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 47. Enable the use of extensive status and reputation management tools Create dynamic game titles that allow users to build social capital within the game Enable gamer profiles that aggregate statistics, achievements, and real- time game play - allow them to embed and share gamer profiles across the web and social networks Provide statistics, user rankings, battles, contests and other tools that allow members to gauge and improve community status Incentivize site users - incorporate loyalty programs Points or achievements for participating on the site, redeemable for prizes/free stuff, or more games i.e. Kongregate, GamerDNA, etc. Give ‘em their props Have a small section on the site that features accomplishments of its users or a featured user Gamers by nature are competitive; recognition breeds loyalty 46 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 48. Make the gaming experience social Add viral elements to the game play Enable users to invite friends to play along and share gaming experiences – reward them for invites Encourage groups to form and offer guild hosting to support small gaming team communities. Create large scale community based games Live interactive game shows such as Microsoft’s 1 vs 100 are engaging and fun while community members compete for real prizes Enable use of real-time status updates and offer real-time tracking of community conversation and game play trends Encourage users to share and spread web content through use of social media tools 47 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 49. Utilize social networking tools to enable the sharing and spread of content Optimize blogs, multimedia, news etc. with sharing and bookmarking tools such as Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Twitter etc. Offer unique content supplemented with User Generated Content Integrate with existing mainstream social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, Flickr, etc. Enable the ability to broadcast real-time status updates across multiple social profiles Contextual recommendation engines - Highly customizable recommendation engines for games, products, or community members built through user profile context. Create collaborative gaming wikis for strategies, tips/tricks etc. 48 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 50. Utilize OpenID technology Use Facebook Connect or MySpaceID to streamline the registration process for gaming communities Easy for new members to recruit existing friends and contacts Create OpenID custom URL’s for profile pages to make profiles portable and transferable across networking sites i.e. GamerDNA, Raptr, etc. 49 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 51. Encourage users to upload and share UGC Allow users to upload and share content such as links, blogs, news, photos, video, games, apps, widgets etc. Integrate user generated content with product and ecommerce pages Including ratings/reviews for products, screenshots, and video clips Creation of a media portal for video, photos, music and podcasts Enable ratings/reviews for UG multimedia – much like a YouTube Feature most viewed/highest rated UG videos Reward users for contribution to the site through awards, points, credits, or contests 50 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 52. Generate awareness and engagement through use of UGC competitions UGC competitions encourage participation and community interaction that will generate repeat visits and WOM Marketing The Sims 2’s partnership with H+M created a tremendous amount of buzz and awareness for the multiple sponsors. Sony Pictures has run competitions on YouTube where users upload videos of why they deserve to win a prize 51 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 53. Put the focus on engagement and interaction with community members Utilize brand or site ambassadors/influencers as a means to connect, interact and promote the community Create a community events calendar that allows members to connect and play with similar community members based on affinity, gender, location, etc. Xbox Live has an excellent calendar offering game nights for families, girls etc. Xbox hosts game nights where members play celebrities and musicians Generate blog postings that stimulate conversation Interact with members - reply to comments or questions pertaining to individual posts Engage audience members on popular social networks Create a social graph across multiple social networks Create a cohesive web presence by linking and aggregating multiple social profiles and sites. 52 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 54. Make communities portable and accessible Create widgets, apps, and mobile platforms to engage community members whenever and wherever Develop or partner with mobile social gaming platforms to tap into new users and connect with an existing community 53 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 55. Use micro-transactions, updates, patches, and game add-ons to create a long-term sustainable business model Offer free-to-play game titles monetized through microtransactions Partner with brands, bringing real life products and merchandise into the virtual world Allow users to upgrade, improve, or add to their existing gaming experience over time Create long term value for users by combining gamer reputation management with virtual goods Offer pre-paid cards in retail locations and online to streamline the purchase process and target users with no access to credit 54 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 56. References Market Research Reports: Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, Entertainment Software Association, 2009 The Adult Video Game Market in the US, Packaged Facts ’09 Pew Internet & American Life Project 2009 Lotame ID Report: Video Gamers and Social Media 2009, Lotame 2009 Fluent: The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report 2009, Razorfish July 2009 55 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 57. Introduction to Crimson Digital Marketing, Consulting Community and 7,000 Teams Social Media SMEs Management Marketing Network of 7,000 Consulting Services consultants on Marketing Issues Positioning 6 Continents and Messaging 64 Countries Market, Product Go-to-Market and Competitive Strategy and Assessment Operations • Interactive Deep Expertise • Technology • Marketing • Management Consulting Industry-Leading Cisco HP Adobe BEA Clients Microsoft SAP Seagate Oracle 56 © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009
  • 58. Questions? Please contact: Crimson Consulting 4970 El Camino Real, Los Altos, CA 94022 650.960.3600 Karen O’Brien Partner, Interactive Services 415.720.6859 T: @bondjanebond © CRIMSON CONSULTING 2009