But first…. A little about Playfish We are creators of social games. Our mission is to evolve how the world plays games by creating experiences which are social and connected between friends and family using social networks as our infrastructure. We have created a number of successful franchises like Pet Society with over 12 million monthly actives or Restaurant City with over 8 million monthly actives. And we are now part of the EA family as of November last year.Stats:Playfish = 55 Million Monthly active players Pet Society = more than 12 M MAURestaurant city = more than 8 M MAUMadden = over 1 M MAUFIFA Superstars = over 3 M MAU
Social gaming is 3-years old and since then its gone through 2 distinct evolutionary phases - birth and growth - and recently it’s begun a third, Meaning.So, now that we are in the “meaning” phase what does that mean? Games must be more meaningful and have emotional connections and touch points with players in order for social gaming to continue to grow and mature.
Within in this “meaning” phase, a fundamental shift in the way we see/approach social games is taking place. You can no longer clone a game, but rather developers must create unique, new, innovative social experiences that make emotional connections with players. Ultimately, in order for games to be innovative, they must create “MEANINGFUL” experiences.And most interestingly, brands will be a spring board to bring greater innovation and meaning to the social gaming experience
But, why brands? Why are brands important in social gaming? Key: going from generic to having meaning and relevance to players Looking at it from the content side, as game evolve, brands surface. Take basketball as an example: from stick figurines moving on the court, to named athletes and teams, a lot of ground has been covered by the genre and brands like NBA are now an integral part of this sport simulationAnother more current way to illustrate what we think will happen is by looking at the iPhone, from a recently emerged game platform.
The Top Paid App of 2008 was Koi Pond by The Blimp Pilots, a group of iPhone hobbyists developers
But, top grossing apps in 2009 = majority are recognizable brands What happened here was that as the platform matured, the games or apps that went along with it matured as well.Likewise, for the social gaming space, as the platform continues to evolve, brands will surface.
First, let’s discuss the growth of the social gaming industry. Barriers to adoption on Y-axis (including price, convenience, approachability and so on) and audience on the X-axis. The graph shows that we are reaching ever larger audiences with offerings with lower barriers. Social gaming = larger audience = perfect platform for advertisersAdditionally, there is a unique opportunity to address the “non-gamer” portion of the demand curve. The further right you go, the less the user has to pay upfront, the more approachable it tends to be, the more social it is, the more immediate the experience and the more ‘real’ it is in terms of the game play meaning something to the players. Perfect entry for advertising and partnership opportunities because those branded opportunities will provide meaning to non-gamers. Here are some examples
Now, why will this phenomenon be replicated in social gaming? Brand promise a particular experience and emotion. Essentially, brands help tap into real life passions because they mean something to players. Here are some examples: Playfish’s NFL Football and FIFA soccer games – people play these games because they identify with specific players and teams and want to talk about they sports they love. This is meaningful to people.Monopoly as a board game is something that most of us played when we were young. And most likely, you have some special memory of both the game and who you played the game with. So, now that we’ve established that brands play an integral role in creating unique, innovative experiences for players, let’s discuss how brands will help drive growth for the social gaming industry.
Meaningful transactionsBecause brands help deepen the social gaming experience and offering for the player, it creates fertile ground for meaningful, transactions, advertising and potential branded partnerships, helping to grow the sectorEx:Products tapping into real passions - If you are Football enthusiast,purchasing a desirable sports item (i.e. the ultimate pack $16) makes sense.
Branded in-game items are highly relevant to brands
Creates a platform for logical partnerships, helping to create logical and appropriate revenue streams and distribution opportunities Meaningful partnerships is another way for players to align themselves with brands that have meaning to their life.Ex: integration on the Chelsea.comis an opportunity to give football fans a social game that suits the Chelsea brand. The use of well-known franchises and brands is a way to build and grow its players, increase revenue, and increase opportunities for partnerships.
We’ve only just begun to explore the opportunities that lie ahead for brands, advertisers and partners who affiliate themselves with a social game. Eventually, will lead to credibility by association.So, in closing. In the future, we can expect brand to play a more important role in social games, in 3 ways:Trust:Branded publishers become more trusted due to the meaningful experiences they provide to players. Success: Branded games will stand out and will winGrowth: You’ll see many more 3rd party brands get involved and be part of social gaming, supporting revenue streams and strengthening distribution, ultimately helping to grow and evolve the social gaming industry.
Robert Tomkinson Presentation
Social games: The Evolution of Brands<br />Robert Tomkinson<br />Senior Director, Global Marketing<br />1<br />
Playfish creates social games<br />part of the family<br />2<br />
3<br />Evolution in product<br />Birth<br />Growth<br />Meaning<br />Who Has The Biggest Brain?<br />Farmville<br />Madden NFL Superstars<br />
4<br />A fundamental shift…<br /><ul><li>Era of winning by cloning is over and innovation is key
Franchises and brands that create meaning will win</li></li></ul><li>5<br />What is a brand?<br />A promise of a particular experienceor emotion<br />Evoking trust and/or meaning <br />