Social Plays In Networked Gaming


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Exploring the relationship between gaming, technology and social media

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Social Plays In Networked Gaming

  1. 1. Social Plays in Networked Gaming Kate Hancock, August 2009
  2. 2. Video Games and Social Media Were Meant For Each Other <ul><li>Technology propels innovation in both </li></ul><ul><li>Social media making games mainstream </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridging cultural divide between hardcore gamers & mainstream consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Video games have been at the forefront of the social movement </li></ul><ul><li>Games are inherently social </li></ul>
  3. 3. Harness the Gaming Industry’s “Brave” Social Media Attitude <ul><li>Can use this early-adopter mindset in any business, but ACT NOW or never </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of companies are already trying new things </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be the FIRST to do it RIGHT </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social technologies enable fun & meaningful new ways to engage your customers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BE new, creative, bold & brilliant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build & retain loyal fan base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differentiate your brand </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Social Technology in Video Games & Gaming Industry </li></ul><ul><li>Gaming in Social Media & Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Overlap & Implications </li></ul>Contents:
  5. 5. Social in the Gaming Sphere
  6. 6. Video Games Influence Social Media <ul><li>Spearheaded social media movement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online games > MMOG genre > VWs > SNs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual worlds & MMOGs converged/ing </li></ul><ul><li>Now, social networks are becoming virtual worlds (literally) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gaming is a prevalent feature & function of today’s social landscape </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. In Games, Social Technologies = “Community Features” <ul><li>Social technologies are rampant in video games </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance RL relationships & create new ones online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competition, collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat, forums, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now social networks & in-game advertisers are cashing in too </li></ul>
  8. 8. MMORPG is a Social Medium <ul><li>Avatars, screen names, IM, guilds, forums, LAN, leader boards, multiplayer modes, slang (FTW, n00b, lol), achievements, battles, UGC, tournaments, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Companies expanding the MMO genre with new types of online communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 200 kids’ virtual worlds in development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Casual MMOGs, niche interests, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Social Features on Game Consoles <ul><li>Xbox LIVE, PSN, WiiWare </li></ul><ul><li>Avatars, UGC, achievements, contests, leader boards, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. Little Big Planet, 1 vs. 100, Rock Band, Guitar Hero </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facebook Connect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DSi, Xbox LIVE, iPhone </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Social Features in Casual Games <ul><li>Nintendo does it their own way… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes games for EVERYone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whole family from kids to grandparents can enjoy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand their audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Party games - simple, fun & social </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Wii Mario game - 4 player mode throughout </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wii Sports – more fun w/group </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Big Fish “Babes”,, casual online portals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very organic communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Big Fish Babes photo courtesy of: </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Gaming Companies Engage Fans through Social Media <ul><li>Early adoption by gaming industry companies & media (blogs, Twitter, etc.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not concerned about figuring out the right/wrong way to use social media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Risky, “brave”, trendsetters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast-paced industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ If I don’t do it, you know somebody else will.” - Doctor John </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be the FIRST to do it RIGHT </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Gaming Companies Live by the “Feedback Loop” <ul><li>Developing games w/o user feedback is a bad idea </li></ul><ul><li>Beta tests, focus groups, user testing, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Makes development more transparent & accessible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fans can get behind the game before it’s released </li></ul></ul><ul><li>i.e. LEGO Universe – Adult fans (LUPs) helping create </li></ul>
  13. 13. Feedback is Good for Business <ul><li>Game companies are using blogs, etc. to keep users informed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build buzz, get feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. Facebook TOS uproar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feedback through Twitter enhances customer service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faster & more PRO-active </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social mentions can help identify fans, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Digitalized, 24/7 News Cycle <ul><li>Word-of-mouth, faster & more public process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You have to BE news to MAKE news </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marketers becoming a direct news source </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cutting out “middle man” (traditional media) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media should be included in every marketing/PR campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you can reach fans & potential customers DIRECTLY, why wouldn’t you? </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Gaming Enhances & Advances the Social Web Experience <ul><li>Video games are not only a facet of social media, gaming in social networks is the next step for social networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>57% of internet users play games online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bridging cultural divide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardcore gamers are embracing social platforms, play styles… </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Gaming in the Social Sphere
  17. 17. Social Media is Facilitating Gaming’s Rise Among Mainstream <ul><li>Bridging cultural divide </li></ul><ul><li>Broad, mainstream demographics are incorporating video games into their everyday lives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discovering uses for SNs and social gaming – personally & professionally </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Social Games Offer Big Benefits & Low Barriers to Entry <ul><li>Social games are ACCESSIBLE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small time investment, little to no cost, easy to pick up & play, most on PC, bridge generation gap </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social games are ADDICTIVE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stress relieving, high replay value, immediate (more public) rewards, valuable networking benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social games CROSS platforms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook Connect – Xbox 360, iPhone, DSi, PC, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Social Features Enhance Gameplay <ul><li>Strengthen existing human relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More fun against real friends & colleagues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New platforms make social gaming accessible to all </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook, iPhone, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20% of all iPhone apps are games </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Social Games Make Players WANT To Invite Friends <ul><li>Many do not exist as a single player experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. Pictionary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The best multiplayer & social games require: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalization options </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Social Games are Serious Business <ul><li>Social gaming industry expected to surpass $1billion in Western markets this year </li></ul><ul><li>Successful social games tap the marketing potential of their community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FUN games that use NEW biz models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bejeweled Blitz, Mafia Wars, Bowling Buddies </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Social Games Are Not Static <ul><li>Emerging idea of “services, not products” </li></ul><ul><li>The “design, develop, launch, market” model is old news </li></ul><ul><li>Requires community involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Whose responsibility IS it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Great debate over Community Management </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. “ Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” – G.B. Stern <ul><li>Fans WANT to share their opinions & experiences with your game/product </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accolades, grievances, reviews, purchases… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engage consumers by playing to their egos </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate THEM into campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivate & reward brand advocates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advantageous for all companies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They WANT to talk about your company! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So give them something positive to say </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Word-of-Mouth Marketing Power <ul><li>WoM marketing is blurring lines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Between PR, journo, brands & fans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional media reviews less important </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brand marketers can interact directly with consumers through social media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PR as a direct news source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demise of traditional journalism </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Overlap and Implications
  26. 26. Convergence Of Gaming And Mainstream Through Social Media <ul><li>Bridging cultural divide between hardcore gamers & mainstream consumers </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers undergoing simultaneous aggregation and fragmentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggregation - on SNs like FB, Myspace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fragmentation – so many distractions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Places to go, things to do, people to interact with – online and offline </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Social Media Spreads the Word <ul><li>We trust our friends, family & colleagues to make better recommendations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mass media lacks personal relevance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Traditional media sources & reviews less important now </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informed, individualized suggestions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changing roles for marketers, journalists, brands & consumers </li></ul>
  28. 28. “ The Social Will Permeate Everything” <ul><li>PR is evolving </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Level playing field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills, requirements and industry as a whole </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Telecommunication, virtual workplace, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Can apply to any company, any industry </li></ul>
  29. 29. Social Games Use New Technologies & Provide New Opportunities <ul><li>Differentiate your brand as a forward-thinking innovator </li></ul><ul><li>In-game ads, licensing, branded game opportunities, contests, tournaments, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>People like sharing about themselves & SM enables brands to harness that </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenge, motivation, rewards </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Social Media Changes Everything <ul><li>Harness the game industry’s early-adopter mindset to engage fans in fun new ways </li></ul><ul><li>Games are an effective “tool” for customers to interact w/ your brand </li></ul><ul><li>Social media makes it easy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Builds organic, loyal fan base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social gaming valuable for any industry </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Feedback is Good <ul><ul><li>What do YOU think about “gaming socially”? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contact Kate Hancock on the web: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TriplePoint PR blog: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agency Twitter: @ triplepoint </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OR on ( you knew it was coming ) the social web: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> katelollar </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Xbox LIVE: LollarBills </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>