Report confirms huge growth in social media gaming

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A new report on social gaming potentially contains good news for all Train2Game students.

The Social Gaming Smart Pack from EConsultancy suggests that one fifth of all consumers now play social media games online with one third of those playing  several times a day.  Among other things, the report also suggests that a fifth of regular social gamers have paid to play and that more women than men play them.

For Train2Game students’ reference, the report defined social games as “Web-based games that can be played with other people and include interactive elements or content that can be shared online.” The report makes particular reference to games on Facebook such as Mafia Wars and Farmville.

TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson says the report confirms changing trends in the UK games industry:

“This report demonstrates once again the increasing prevalence of gaming and the shift towards playing online. Games are now accessible and attractive to a wide audience, on a variety of platforms and come in all shapes and sizes. The report finds that more women than men play social games. This is a hugely significant development for this industry. The report also shows that games are increasingly being viewed as a format of choice for big brands to advertise their products and services”

Dr. Wilson also echoed comments he made in an interview with the Train2Game blog last month, that increasing numbers of UK developers are producing games for online:

“UK games developers are extremely well positioned to take advantage of the new trend toward social gaming and digital distribution. TIGA’s research indicates that 80 per cent of the new UK games businesses that have set up over the last two years are developing games for online digital distribution.”

In last months’ interview, the TIGA CEO also told the Train2Game blog that this switch to online distribution is potentially a positive development for students on Train2Game courses:

“A collection of Train2Game students working together to develop a game now have more options open to them. Five or ten years ago they would have had to work for hire and they would have had to convince a publisher to commission the game and sell and market it for them. Now they have other options, they can sell direct to the consumer through Facebook, over the internet and on mobile. So there are now more options available to Train2Game students who wish to develop games and create their own companies.”

The Social Gaming Smart Pack report comes on the same day that games industry consultant Nicholas Lovell posted a huge article on Games Brief asking ‘What is a Social Game?’ Train2Game students would be well advised to have a read as it contains views on social games from many high profile figures in the industry. One of the over two dozen games industry luminaries asked is Game Designer Jon Hare who was part of the Third Official Train2Game live webinar panel.

Lovell himself talked to the Train2Game blog last month about a number of issues including social gaming. The interview is almost essential reading for Train2Game students!

With the report from EConsultancy  suggesting social media is on the rise, a small team of Train2Game students who produce a good game could potentially find that takes off thanks to how relatively simple it now is to distribute a product online.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the report? How often do you play social media games? Could you see yourself producing one in the future? And with regards to the Games Brief article, what do YOU think is definition of a social game?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

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