Impact of online social networks on games


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Games built on Online Social Networks (OSNs) have become a phenomenon since 3rd party developer tools were exposed by OSNs such as Facebook. Even if the game is not built on the Facebook platform, developers tend to integrate Facebook to link the gaming community. Multiplayer games are not the only ones that require a community; gamers like to show off their ranks, discuss about their experiences and also will not mind getting few tips from the community with accomplishing certain tasks in a game. The community is important for both the gamer and developer, as it could be a source of feedback, research and popularity for the game he/she is developing.

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Impact of online social networks on games

  1. 1. Impact of Online Social Networks on Games Tulakshana Weerasooriya 27-03-2013
  2. 2. Outline• Introduction• Types of Games and Users• Games built on Social Networks• Games on Facebook – Development – Distribution – Monetizing – Statistics – Success stories• Comparison of games on and off the social graph
  3. 3. Introduction• Multiplayer games are not the only ones that require a community• The community is important for both the gamer and developer
  4. 4. Types of Games and Users• Users – Hardcore – Casual – Mid–core• Gender – Tilo Hartmann and Christoph Klimmt (2006) • lack of meaningful social interaction • Violent content • Sexual gender role stereotyping of game characters – 47% women
  5. 5. Types of Games and users (contd...)• Age – 30% women over the age of 18 – 18% boys 17 and younger – Average game player is 30 years old – Most frequent game purchaser is 35 years old
  6. 6. Games built on social networks• Type of games – Multiplayer games that utilize the social graph, i.e. a players social connections, as part of the game – Games in which the main gameplay involves socializing or social activities like chatting, trading, or flirting – Turn-based games that are played within a social context or with friends – Competitive casual games that include friends-only leaderboards. Examples: Who Has the Biggest Brain?, Word Challenge
  7. 7. Games built on social networks (contd...)• Style of play• Para social relationships• Passive vs. active games• Monetizing – Advertising or sponsorship – Micro transactions: virtual currency and/or goods – Subscriptions or premium modes• Portability
  8. 8. Facebook• Development• Distribution• Monetizing• Statistics (Game developers conference March 2013) – More than 250 million people are playing games on the social network every month. – Game installs on the web platform are up 75% – Roughly 200 titles on Facebook have more than one million monthly active users each – Roughly 100 developers generated more than $1 million on Facebook in 2012 – Total number of paying players has also increased by 24%
  9. 9. Facebook (contd...)Source:
  10. 10. Facebook (contd...)• Success stories – Suleman Ali – SGN (Social Gaming Network) – Playfish – Zynga
  11. 11. On and off the social graph• B. Kirman, S. Lawson, and C. Linehan• Compared three social games, both on and off the social graph of Facebook• Results – Facebook games had significantly more users in a very short period. – Limitations in the platform
  12. 12. References• [1] B. Kirman, S. Lawson, and C. Linehan, “Gaming on and off the social graph: The social structure of facebook games,” in Computational Science and Engineering, 2009. CSE’09. International Conference on, 2009, vol. 4, pp. 627–632.• [2] “Are you a mid-core gamer?,” Joystiq. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 26-Mar-2013].• [3] “Gender and Computer Games: Exploring Females’ Dislikes.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 26-Mar-2013].• [4] “The Entertainment Software Association - Industry Facts.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 26-Mar-2013].• [5] “Shooting Star: Suleman Ali | DESICEO.” [Online]. Available: suleman-ali/. [Accessed: 26-Mar-2013].• [6] “The Social Network Game Boom.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 26-Mar-2013].
  13. 13. References (contd...)• [7] “Tamar SEO and Social Blog | PackRat – Most Addictive Facebook Game So Far?” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 26- Mar-2013].• [8] “How Healthy Are Parasocial Relationships? | Clutch Magazine.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-Mar-2013].• [9] S. Chen, “Exploring Active vs. Passive Play in Social Games (Part I),” Game Design Aspect of the Month. 15-Mar- 2010.• [10] “Monetization Best Practices,” Facebook Developers. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-Mar-2013].• [11] “Games Distribution,” Facebook Developers. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-Mar-2013].• [12] “Facebook reveals new growth stats; 20 percent of web users play games every day,” Inside Social Games. [Online]. Available: percent-of-web-users-play-games-every-day/. [Accessed: 28-Mar-2013].• [13] “Open Graph,” Facebook Developers. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Mar-2013].
  14. 14. Thank you