« What Will A Next-Decade Publisher Do? [What Games Will Be] | Main | The Mac App Store And The PC Gamepocalypse [Trends] »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Enjoy your blog...

Social gaming is more of a numbers game than any other biz I'm aware of. The art of social gaming is iterating over the metrics. Zynga is the model of the metrics driven approach, split a/b testing, etc.

I don't see Zynga as a risk taker or innovator. They've been relatively unsuccessful when building games based on their own ideas, but they have been very successful remaking other games or improving on ideas they've already tested. I see their success as 1) Getting in on the ground floor. 2) Raising investment dollars in a way no one else has matched. That's their secret sauce -- funding.

The low barrier, in my mind, for putting out a competitive product is what defines social gaming. I think we disagree on this and what affect it has overall. I think you view social gaming more along the lines of traditional companies (ie Google and Search Engines). I would argue that social gaming is its own animal and and because of this, companies like Zynga aren't as entrenched as they seem.

Creating a small budget movie or console game, let alone Avatar or WOW, costs a huge amount of money compared to what is costs to match the most popular social game's content. Very few can compete purely because of the numbers. This matters and affects how entrenched Zynga is and can be.

If social gaming were movies, TV or traditional gaming, companies like Zynga could use more and more money for better and better content, as a defense against competition, but it can't. Social gaming isn't like these other entertainment industries. Social gamers don't seek the kind of content that money would help with. To reach the masses, the games must be simple and to be simple means there's no deep tech stack. The social gaming crowd, particularly the best converting segment made up of middle aged women, won't stomach complex games.

Again, enjoy reading your stuff!


That's a great comment Krister, thanks.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Follow What Games Are

What Games Are is about game design, game development, games as art, craft, culture and industry and how you can make better games, written by Tadhg Kelly.

You can follow Tadhg on Twitter here:

You can also subscribe via email:

Or RSS (Google Reader etc):


Search What Games Are

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...