The Future of Social Gaming? Ads.
Like many of our colleagues in the online gaming world, we have been looking for ways to make advertising and branding work best for consumer and company in the game environment. I recently read an interesting piece in Forbes about social gaming juggernaut Zynga and how they were able to produce one particularly impressive set of fourth-quarter stats: they increased their ad revenues by a wow-inducing 230%.
Zynga is finding more and more traction in the mobile/social gaming market with the wildly popular Words With Friends and its fun-but-deeply-frustrating (depending on your opponent, of course) companion, Hanging With Friends. As the article notes, the company’s revenue for these games relies almost entirely on advertising — and they’re teaming up with engagement marketing firm SocialVibe to create engagement ads for their titles.
You’ve probably seen these ads. They’ve come up quite a bit on Hulu and other (legal) video streaming sites lately—before you watch that episode of 30 Rock, you have to take a brief quiz of TV trivia sponsored by Car Company XYZ. It’s entertaining—certainly better than having to sit through an advertisement passively. And SocialVibe’s numbers are indicating that this style of marketing is working. As Fuse.tv co-founder Joe Marchese put it in the Forbes piece, “Impressions can be faked. Engagement can’t.”
This is an exciting time to be in custom game development and to be working with brands to design games that deliver an authentic brand experience to consumers. With so much creativity in this space, KBooM! Games is in good company and making games that users can actually have some fun with. And we’re all about fun. We make games, after all.