People like their electronic games, and this enjoyable pastime is no longer confined to computers or mobile devices. Social networking game popularity and sales have been growing rapidly in recent years.
Combining game-playing with something that online users are already enjoying is turning out to be a great marketing strategy for game companies.
Facebook is the most familiar and largest platform for social gaming, and this activity makes up a significant portion of Facebook’s revenue.
The advantage for gaming companies to turn their attention to social networking projects is that these games are cheaper and easier to produce than ones running on other platforms. When a company is developing a traditional game, the process will take a couple of months and involve a couple of video game designers. The game will be updated as users provide feedback, and the total cost may be in the $2-3 million range. To bring a new social networking game to the public, a video game company would be looking at a much smaller investment of $100,000-$300,000.
The basic game is free, but if players want to add extras (tools and weapons) to their experience, they will need to pay more for the privilege. Approximately 5 percent of people who play social networking games reach for their wallets and pay the extra fee to gain access to these virtual goods.
In the case of players who are on Facebook, they can buy Facebook Credits to pay for these extras. The benefit to Facebook to offer this service is very simple: its share is 30 percent of every transaction.
Facebook is only one of many social networking sites offering gaming companies a ready market for their products. As the demand for this type of game grows, more opportunities will open up for people who can work within this platform to create games that are entertaining without relying on heavy use of complicated graphics and sounds to interest players.
A person with the skills to develop a no-frills game that can get off the ground quickly will be in demand for this niche market. Social networking will continue to grow, and users will continue to be interested in being entertained by playing games when they are on these sites.