Our feature presentation: <ul><li>What does the coming year hold for the independent Facebook game developer? </li></ul>
The story of Facebook so far <ul><li>Three big episodes: </li></ul><ul><li>2007-2008: The pioneering debut </li></ul><ul><...
The story of Facebook so far <ul><li>2007-2008: the pioneering debut </li></ul><ul><li>Viral growth, poke apps, simple gam...
The story of Facebook so far <ul><li>2008-2009: the difficult sequel </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook removing/limiting viral ch...
The story of Facebook so far <ul><li>2009-2010: more quality & maturity </li></ul><ul><li>More Facebook redesigns, less vi...
The indie developer today <ul><li>Up against it </li></ul><ul><li>Limited access to resources </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook f...
So what next for Facebook? <ul><li>2010-2011: the lame cash-in episode? </li></ul><ul><li>Big gaming companies dominate? <...
So what next for Facebook? <ul><li>2010-2011: the lame cash-in episode? </li></ul><ul><li>Big gaming companies dominate? <...
So what next for Facebook? <ul><li>2010-2011: the lame cash-in episode? </li></ul><ul><li>Big gaming companies dominate? <...
So what next for Facebook? <ul><li>2010-2011: the lame cash-in episode? </li></ul><ul><li>Big gaming companies dominate? <...
So what next for Facebook? <ul><li>2010-2011: the lame cash-in episode? </li></ul><ul><li>Big gaming companies dominate? <...
Things aren’t looking good <ul><li>How can our indie escape? </li></ul>
Fighting the big guns <ul><li>Competing against traditional gaming companies: </li></ul><ul><li>Big investments need big p...
2010: boom and bust <ul><li>Not everyone can win </li></ul><ul><li>2010-2011 will be the year of: </li></ul><ul><li>Increa...
Opportunities for Indies <ul><li>Choose your battles: </li></ul><ul><li>Does increasing quality mean increasing complexity...
<ul><li>5 tips that might help </li></ul>
My tips <ul><li>#1 Go niche </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t try to compete with FarmVille – look for an audience that the big guns...
My tips <ul><li>#2 Retention, not virality </li></ul><ul><li>Viral channel effectiveness is reducing </li></ul><ul><li>Buy...
My tips <ul><li>#3 Concentrate on ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) </li></ul><ul><li>100,000k users at 50c per user, or 1m ...
My tips <ul><li>#4 Don’t overcomplicate </li></ul><ul><li>Release fast, early and often </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t try to com...
My tips <ul><li>#5 Build a portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Not every game will be a success </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare to move ...
A holy grail of app development?
A holy grail of app development? <ul><li>Not quite </li></ul><ul><li>A tough year ahead </li></ul><ul><li>There are still ...
Thanks <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.karlbunyan.co.uk </li></ul><ul><li>fbExchange.net </li></ul><ul><li>t...
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Indie Game Developers and the Facebook of Doom

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What does 2010 hold for the independent Facebook game developer?

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Indie Game Developers and the Facebook of Doom

  1. 2. Our feature presentation: <ul><li>What does the coming year hold for the independent Facebook game developer? </li></ul>
  2. 3. The story of Facebook so far <ul><li>Three big episodes: </li></ul><ul><li>2007-2008: The pioneering debut </li></ul><ul><li>2008-2009: The difficult sequel </li></ul><ul><li>2009-2010: Increased quality & maturity </li></ul><ul><li>And what next? </li></ul><ul><li>4. 2010-2011: The lame cash-in? </li></ul>
  3. 4. The story of Facebook so far <ul><li>2007-2008: the pioneering debut </li></ul><ul><li>Viral growth, poke apps, simple games </li></ul><ul><li>Developers working out how to make money </li></ul><ul><li>Generally low quality apps </li></ul><ul><li>Novelty value and user freshness </li></ul>
  4. 5. The story of Facebook so far <ul><li>2008-2009: the difficult sequel </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook removing/limiting viral channels </li></ul><ul><li>The Mafia/Mob wars </li></ul><ul><li>Realisation that apps could make money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of money, >$1m/month </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mid 2009: world + dog decides to get into social games </li></ul>
  5. 6. The story of Facebook so far <ul><li>2009-2010: more quality & maturity </li></ul><ul><li>More Facebook redesigns, less viral growth </li></ul><ul><li>Increased game quality </li></ul><ul><li>Big-name entries into the market </li></ul><ul><li>Big money: EA buys Playfish for $300m+ </li></ul><ul><li>The rise and rise of Farm Town, FarmVille and the attack of the clones (yes, I know) </li></ul>
  6. 7. The indie developer today <ul><li>Up against it </li></ul><ul><li>Limited access to resources </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook favouring the big names </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced Platform virality </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to match the quality of new games </li></ul>
  7. 8. So what next for Facebook? <ul><li>2010-2011: the lame cash-in episode? </li></ul><ul><li>Big gaming companies dominate? </li></ul><ul><li>Impossible to compete on ad spend? </li></ul><ul><li>Game quality rises and production costs soar? </li></ul><ul><li>Existing game brands (Civilisation, the Sims) conquer all? </li></ul>
  8. 9. So what next for Facebook? <ul><li>2010-2011: the lame cash-in episode? </li></ul><ul><li>Big gaming companies dominate? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EA, Ubisoft, Zynga, Playdom, CrowdStar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Impossible to compete on ad spend? </li></ul><ul><li>Game quality rises and production costs soar? </li></ul><ul><li>Existing game brands (Civilisation, the Sims) conquer all? </li></ul>
  9. 10. So what next for Facebook? <ul><li>2010-2011: the lame cash-in episode? </li></ul><ul><li>Big gaming companies dominate? </li></ul><ul><li>Impossible to compete on ad spend? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zynga spending $1m+/week on Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Game quality rises and production costs soar? </li></ul><ul><li>Existing game brands (Civilisation, the Sims) conquer all? </li></ul>
  10. 11. So what next for Facebook? <ul><li>2010-2011: the lame cash-in episode? </li></ul><ul><li>Big gaming companies dominate? </li></ul><ul><li>Impossible to compete on ad spend? </li></ul><ul><li>Game quality rises and production costs soar? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competing with Zynga’s 800+ team </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Existing game brands (Civilisation, the Sims) conquer all? </li></ul>
  11. 12. So what next for Facebook? <ul><li>2010-2011: the lame cash-in episode? </li></ul><ul><li>Big gaming companies dominate? </li></ul><ul><li>Impossible to compete on ad spend? </li></ul><ul><li>Game quality rises and production costs soar? </li></ul><ul><li>Existing game brands (Civilisation, the Sims) conquer all? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Civilisation coming in the summer, what will EA bring to Playfish (or vice-versa)? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Things aren’t looking good <ul><li>How can our indie escape? </li></ul>
  13. 14. Fighting the big guns <ul><li>Competing against traditional gaming companies: </li></ul><ul><li>Big investments need big payoffs </li></ul><ul><li>No evidence that they can succeed: </li></ul>Spore Islands by Electronic Arts Based on the Spore “franchise” Currently around 2.5k DAU
  14. 15. 2010: boom and bust <ul><li>Not everyone can win </li></ul><ul><li>2010-2011 will be the year of: </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing user-blindness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced virality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fatigue with virtual goods and offer monetisation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual-world saturation </li></ul><ul><li>Social games go from hero to zero </li></ul>
  15. 16. Opportunities for Indies <ul><li>Choose your battles: </li></ul><ul><li>Does increasing quality mean increasing complexity? </li></ul><ul><li>Do Facebook users even want complexity? </li></ul><ul><li>The death of the bedroom coder has been predicted for over 20 years now </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>5 tips that might help </li></ul>
  17. 18. My tips <ul><li>#1 Go niche </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t try to compete with FarmVille – look for an audience that the big guns won’t be interested in </li></ul><ul><li>Create an edge that deters the cloners </li></ul>
  18. 19. My tips <ul><li>#2 Retention, not virality </li></ul><ul><li>Viral channel effectiveness is reducing </li></ul><ul><li>Buying traffic is almost inevitable </li></ul><ul><li>Once you have a user, keep hold of them </li></ul>
  19. 20. My tips <ul><li>#3 Concentrate on ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) </li></ul><ul><li>100,000k users at 50c per user, or 1m at 5c? </li></ul><ul><li>A loyal audience monetises better than a mass migratory one </li></ul>
  20. 21. My tips <ul><li>#4 Don’t overcomplicate </li></ul><ul><li>Release fast, early and often </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t try to compete with the virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>Maximise ARPD (Average Revenue per Developer) </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrate on fun, not realism </li></ul><ul><li>… but still maintain depth of play </li></ul>
  21. 22. My tips <ul><li>#5 Build a portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Not every game will be a success </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare to move on quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-promote </li></ul><ul><li>Make a virtue out of changing your mind </li></ul>
  22. 23. A holy grail of app development?
  23. 24. A holy grail of app development? <ul><li>Not quite </li></ul><ul><li>A tough year ahead </li></ul><ul><li>There are still opportunities for indies </li></ul><ul><li>Look for the gaps in the market </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of your ability to change </li></ul>
  24. 25. Thanks <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.karlbunyan.co.uk </li></ul><ul><li>fbExchange.net </li></ul><ul><li>twitter.com/karlbunyan </li></ul>

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