Social Games: is it Gambling?
RAF KEUSTERMANSCo-Founder, CEO Plumbee(Interim) VP Marketing Kobojo 2011Independent Social Gaming Consultant 2010-2011Glob...
Plumbee?VC-funded social casino games startup.Founded by 3 ex EA Playfish execs in 2011.Based in Shoreditch, London. 35 st...
Social Games               Image from CityVille, Zynga
What Is It?Games using social graphFb/iOS Game Centre/OpenFeint/…No End/No Winner‘Multi-Player’ (real-time or turn-based)U...
Games before 2008:- Niche- Big, But Closed Industry- Brands & Non-Gamers Not Welcome
Number of gamers exploded:2000: 250M2012: 1B+   •   New fast-growing ‘open’ platforms (Fb, iOS)   •   Metrics-led design, ...
A diverse audience•   7 to 77•   F>M•   30+•   ‘Non-Gamers’
Emerging Markets!Brazil 2nd largest Fbmarket after US.India #3, Indonesia#4, Turkey #7, Philippines#8
Social Casino Games• Free-to-Play Casino games growing fast• Monetization 3-5x casual social games   • Zynga Poker annual ...
Gambling? Or Entertainment?3 main elements of gambling: 1. Consideration: user ust pay ‘something of    value’ to particip...
Consideration (stake)?• In social, free-to-play games, most users (95-  99%) never spend any money.• Users get free curren...
Prize?• No cash-out.• Users can’t get ‘real world’ prizes, they can  only win more game currency  (coins, chips, gems, med...
Chance?• Guilty (for social casino games).• Same for rock-paper-scissors. Or Yahtzee.
But what if...‘something of value’ would also include...Time?
Sure. Let’s call all boardgames gambling.
More Evidence• Not all gambling games work as social, free-to-  play games.  – Only games with an intrinsic ‘fun’ or socia...
Are the lines becoming blurred?                    Financial Times, 7 August 2012
Nope.• Big difference between real-money gambling  games and free-to-play games on Facebook  (and iOS): payments, complian...
Raf Keustermans  @raf_keustermans www.plumbee.com
Social gaming: is it gambling?
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Social gaming: is it gambling?

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Social gaming: is it gambling?

  1. 1. Social Games: is it Gambling?
  2. 2. RAF KEUSTERMANSCo-Founder, CEO Plumbee(Interim) VP Marketing Kobojo 2011Independent Social Gaming Consultant 2010-2011Global Marketing Director Playfish (EA) 2009-2010Marketing Director EMEA Pogo.com (EA) 2008-2009Head of Marketing Western Europe Unibet.com 2005-2008Strategic Planner at BBDO, Grey and Publicis 1998-2005raf@plumbee.comTwitter: @raf_keustermans
  3. 3. Plumbee?VC-funded social casino games startup.Founded by 3 ex EA Playfish execs in 2011.Based in Shoreditch, London. 35 staff.Mirrorball Slots on Facebook (soon on iOS).240K DAU, 1M MAU.Average user is 52 year old, US woman.
  4. 4. Social Games Image from CityVille, Zynga
  5. 5. What Is It?Games using social graphFb/iOS Game Centre/OpenFeint/…No End/No Winner‘Multi-Player’ (real-time or turn-based)Users always aware of others’ activitiesFree (Ad-funded/Virtual Goods) Image from menagamer.com, Restaurant Story
  6. 6. Games before 2008:- Niche- Big, But Closed Industry- Brands & Non-Gamers Not Welcome
  7. 7. Number of gamers exploded:2000: 250M2012: 1B+ • New fast-growing ‘open’ platforms (Fb, iOS) • Metrics-led design, new generation of game devs • Broadband penetration • Free!
  8. 8. A diverse audience• 7 to 77• F>M• 30+• ‘Non-Gamers’
  9. 9. Emerging Markets!Brazil 2nd largest Fbmarket after US.India #3, Indonesia#4, Turkey #7, Philippines#8
  10. 10. Social Casino Games• Free-to-Play Casino games growing fast• Monetization 3-5x casual social games • Zynga Poker annual revenue $300M• It’s NOT about conversion to real money• It’s NOT a marketing tool • although it can help build a brand in currently locked markets• It’s VERY HARD to make it work (and expensive)• Vertical becoming very crowded, also on mobile• Top team & big bucks required to succeed
  11. 11. Gambling? Or Entertainment?3 main elements of gambling: 1. Consideration: user ust pay ‘something of value’ to participate (stake) 2. Prize: by participating, user can win ‘something of value’ 3. Chance: outcome is not determined by skill
  12. 12. Consideration (stake)?• In social, free-to-play games, most users (95- 99%) never spend any money.• Users get free currency in the game, via the Facebook Page, promotions or via their friends – E.g. in Mirrorball Slots user can get easily 2,000 coins per day for free, while the minimum stake per spin is 0.1 coin...• Most paying users spend to play more (buy more time).
  13. 13. Prize?• No cash-out.• Users can’t get ‘real world’ prizes, they can only win more game currency (coins, chips, gems, medals, ...).• Users ‘win’ 15-20 mins of fun, entertainment.
  14. 14. Chance?• Guilty (for social casino games).• Same for rock-paper-scissors. Or Yahtzee.
  15. 15. But what if...‘something of value’ would also include...Time?
  16. 16. Sure. Let’s call all boardgames gambling.
  17. 17. More Evidence• Not all gambling games work as social, free-to- play games. – Only games with an intrinsic ‘fun’ or social element work: poker, bingo, slots are strong enough to work as games without the monetary element. – Sports betting, most casino table games, ... are too ‘mechanical’ and don’t work as free-to-play social games.
  18. 18. Are the lines becoming blurred? Financial Times, 7 August 2012
  19. 19. Nope.• Big difference between real-money gambling games and free-to-play games on Facebook (and iOS): payments, compliance, licensing.• Facebook and iOS gambling apps follow existing gambling regulation.• Gambling and ‘real games’ also co-exist on the ‘open web’.
  20. 20. Raf Keustermans @raf_keustermans www.plumbee.com

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