Siege2011 Social Games

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What are social games? What makes some more successful than others? What business and legal issues do social game designers need to know?

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Siege2011 Social Games

  1. SOCIAL GAMES<br />SIEGE CON 2011<br />Deborah Gonzalez, Esq.<br />deborah@law2sm.com<br />
  2. Social Games<br />What are they?<br />Who is playing them?<br />What makes some successful?<br />Business & Legal Issues<br />What does the future hold?<br />“Gamification is reinventing business, marketing, and everyday life”<br />~ Jennifer Van Grove, Mashable.com, July, 2011<br />
  3. Are these social games?<br />Knucklebones<br />Chess<br />Dungeons and Dragons<br />Magic: the Gathering<br />Farmville<br />Words with Friends<br />World of Warcraft<br />2012 London Olympics: Competitive Tweeting<br />Foursquare<br />
  4. What are Social Games?<br />A game that takes advantage of your friendships in meaningful ways. ~ John Romero, game designer<br />Social games take advantage of the social graph to include your real life friends into the game experience. ~ Jens Begemann, CEO, wooga<br />Nicholas Lovell from Gamesbrief.com asked more than 2 dozen gaming gurus how would they define a “social game”. <br />
  5. What are Social Games?<br />Any game which uses the social graph to increase and improve the gaming experience, while utilizing game theory and psychology to generate revenue from the active user base from a combination of virtual goods, advertising, and offers. ~ Andy Rogers, managing director, enteraction<br />
  6. Who is playing social games?<br />“Social Gamer Thought Leadership Study” ~ RockYou& Interpret, Sept., 2011 <br />37 million social gamers in US alone<br />Social gamers are more socially active online than expected (average 13 hours a week online; 9.5 playing games)<br />Social gamers are increasingly sophisticated gamers (25% prefer games with missions or quests)<br />
  7. Who is playing social games?<br />Social gamers are highly receptive to in-game ads (esp. When offered real-world rewards or virtual currency in exchange)<br />Social gamers are avid consumers and valuable customers in the real world<br />Social gamers can be categorized into 4 segments.<br />
  8. Who is playing social games?<br />Premium Paul – affluent player who spends on in-game currency to get ahead<br />Competitive Charlie – plays to win and broadcasts his achievements<br />Devoted Danielle – power player but prefers free play<br />Newbie Nancy – less tech savvy; prefers free content<br />From: Study and SocialTimes.com<br />
  9. What makes some successful?<br />Based on the interaction between the players.<br />Bragging rights; boasting about achievements<br />Comparing scores and rankings<br />Co-operating; Challenges<br />Gifting; Sharing<br />
  10. What makes some successful?<br />Farmville – Zynga<br />Farm simulation game – neighbour system; 10% of all Facebook users<br />
  11. What makes some successful?<br />Words with Friends<br />Competitive Scrabble with thousands of “friends” – a classic game everybody already knows the rules to.<br />
  12. What makes some successful?<br />World of Warcraft<br />12 million subscribers; you can live a separate life; become magical and powerful; create relationships – the “guild”<br />
  13. Some Business & Legal Issues<br />The Business Model<br />Subscriptions/User Fees<br />Registered Users; Active Users; Lifetime Value<br />Microtransactions for Virtual Goods<br />Facebook Credits<br />Advertising<br />Sponsorships<br />Branded Virtual Goods<br />Product Placement<br />
  14. Some Business & Legal Issues<br />Business of Design<br />Original titles vs. Expansion packs<br />Franchising<br />New user acquisition/Marketing of Games<br />Investment Landscape<br />Mobile/Android<br />International Platforms<br />Language & Culture<br />
  15. Some Business & Legal Issues<br />Legal Concerns<br />Privacy (TOS & User Agreements)<br />Privacyville - Zynga<br />
  16. Some Business & Legal Issues<br />Legal Concerns (cont).<br />Technology (Patent)<br />Platform<br />Content (IP) Production<br />Original vs. Derivative Work<br />Context (Trademarks, etc.)<br />Appropriation vs. Inspiration<br />Publicity Rights<br />Music Licensing Issues<br />
  17. Some Business & Legal Issues<br />Legal Concerns (cont).<br />Content (IP) Production (cont).<br />Offensive Content?<br />Children’s Online Protection Act<br />Game Ratings<br />Constitutional Issues<br />First Amendment vs. Censorship<br />
  18. Some Business & Legal Issues<br />Legal Concerns (cont).<br />Content Access & Distribution<br />Digital Rights Management<br />Licensing<br />Territory<br />Compensation<br />
  19. What Does the Future Hold?<br />The M’s: More & Mobile<br />More complexity in the game (advanced storytelling/augmented reality)<br />More variety amongst genres and play style<br />More expansion to education & business<br />More quality<br />Mobile<br />
  20. What Does the Future Hold?<br />The Last M – More respect<br />The use of social gaming to do social good.<br />Zynga and Pizza Hut to help fight world hunger – exclusive in-game items can be purchased by users<br />
  21. What Does the Future Hold?<br />The Last M – More respect (cont.)<br />Jane McGonigal: Gaming Can Make a Better World; TED 2010<br />Gamers Can Be World Heroes<br />
  22. What Does the Future Hold?<br />Why can gamers make a better world?<br />Because they learn and acquire the following superpowers:<br />Urgent Optimism<br />Weaving a tight social fabric<br />Blissful productivity<br />Epic Meaning <br />
  23. What Does the Future Hold?<br />Why can gamers make a better world? (cont.)<br />So they become “super-empowered hopeful individuals”<br />They are a human resource for good.<br />

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