Playing games is the perfect way to unwind, and is hugely beneficial in combating stress and keep your brain fit and active. Online games are famous because of easy accessibility (desktop, laptop, mobile – developers have built games around all possible platforms of users’ choice), Playability (online games are easy and enjoyable for beginners and tough for masters), affordability (few games are totally free and some are free till initial level). Most of internet dwellers get addicted to online games whether on mobile or social media sites and even ready to pay for playing online games.
Online Games on Facebook and Mobile
Online game industry is growing at faster rate all over the world. Due to large number of users’ availability, game developers are targeting mobile platforms and social media sites – especially Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) that has 1/4th of its users playing online games. With 235 million folks taking part in games at Facebook, the company sees a potential revenue source in the mobile arena, where it has been lambasted for failing to profit from its popularity. There are more than 185,000 Facebook-synched game “apps” available for smartphones or tablets – powered by iOS or Android – that jointly dominate the mobile gadget market. Video game giants such as Ubisoft and Electronic Arts not only design games for Facebook but use the platform to extend or augment play of blockbuster titles on consoles such as the Xbox or PlayStation. Such game developers are investing in millions as the opportunities in gaming industry are bound to grow.
Recently, casual games developer and publisher Arkadium released the results of a study of 1,500 cross-platform gamers, analyzing the purchasing and playing behaviors of online gamers in both mobile games and on Facebook. In Q2 of 2013, nearly 56% of U.S gamers played more than 3 games on Facebook per week and about 48% of online gamers’ played 1 or more mobile games/week. Number of online gamers who play games on social media sites at least once a month is expected to be around 80.3 million in 2013, while about 125.9 million people play one or more mobile games. This portrays a significant overlap between the Facebook and Mobile gamers.
Most of online games are available for free, that attracts number of users at first. Every firm looks to build a brand amongst users by providing best possible experience without any associated cost for it at initial stage. Later, with the growing popularity of games, when monetization becomes necessary for a company games face many challenges.
According to a study, conducted by payment consultancy firm WorldPay in April 2013, more than 25% of U.S. internet users had purchased a game – that could be played via any device – through an app store; Nearly 16% had purchased an online game via the web and 15% had purchased a game to play with friends via social media. Games purchased via apps were popular and cheapest than other digital game and averaged $6.84 per transaction, lower than any other paid video game price. In-app purchases are where many casual and mobile game developers generate a bulk of revenue. The study found that about 43% of gamers said they’d made an in-game purchase in a mobile game, and 38% had made such a purchase in a Facebook game.
Mobile and social media gamers are willing to pay but its important for a developer firm to grab initial attention of user by making game more exciting. Besides, for premium games price factor plays an important role in the success of a game and developers must price it optimum. Initial brand marketing and first impression of playing a game can be decisive to when monetization part comes into play. Online game industry is zooming high and is open for many new players. Online, Social and Mobile gaming industries have emerged as massive markets showing explosive growth. The highly dynamic nature of these segments suggests that disruptive innovations will continue to take place. This innovation combined with the sheer size of the opportunity will drive investments in the coming years.