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Social Gaming Crystal Ball: 2012. Dave Rohrl Creative Director, Playdom Casual Connect Europe February 9, 2012. What Is the Crystal Ball?. Goal. Predict important FB gaming trends Understand reasons Forecast impacts. Methodology. But seriously Year in Social Games reflection

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Social gaming crystal ball 2012

Social Gaming Crystal Ball: 2012

Dave Rohrl

Creative Director, Playdom

Casual Connect Europe

February 9, 2012



Goal

  • Predict important FB gaming trends

  • Understand reasons

  • Forecast impacts


Methodology
Methodology

  • But seriously

    • Year in Social Games reflection

      • Deflecting trends lines

    • General industry trend lines

      • Inside/Outside social

    • Interesting financial events and key quotes


Caveat auditor
Caveat Auditor

  • Hugely speculative

  • Hard to predict

  • Consider the source


Prediction 1
Prediction #1

Social Goes

Casual

(Not Easy Money)


Trend line
Trend Line

  • 2008-2009: Text RPG


Trend line1
Trend Line

  • 2008-2009: HTML RPG

  • 2009-2010: Simple Decorators


Trend line2
Trend Line

  • 2008-2009: HTML RPG

  • 2009-2010: Simple Decorators

  • 2010-2011: Builder


Trend line3
Trend Line

  • 2008-2009: HTML RPG

  • 2009-2010: Simple Decorator

  • 2010-2011: Builder

  • 2011-2012: Genre diversification





Why does this work
Why Does This Work?

  • Demographics/Psychographics

  • Large pool of experienced devs

  • Well-understood core game


Why now
Why Now?

  • Development experience

  • Code has been cracked

  • Market is very, very proven




But……

  • Expect lots of failure

    • Merging is hard

    • Execution is key

    • Lots of people trying


So?

  • Classic casual gameplay as entry point

  • Stock up on high skill

    • Both sides of the coin

  • Winners win big

  • Execution wins


Prediction 2
Prediction #2

HTML5 Makes A Dent

(But Doesn’t Become Dominant)


What is html5
What is HTML5?

  • Web development standard

  • Open

  • Cross-platform

  • 2D gaming support via canvas

  • 3D gaming support via WebGL (still in infancy)


Trend line4
Trend Line

  • Early yet

Late 2010

Late 2011


Why now1
Why Now?

  • April 2010: “new open standards, created in the web era, such as HTML 5, will win (over Flash)

  • September 2010: Zynga buys Dextrose AG

  • January 2011: Facebook publishes HTML5 browser performance stats, suggests future prefs

  • March 2011: Disney acquires RocketPack

  • November 2011: Adobe abandons Flash for mobile, focuses on HTML5


Why does it matter
Why Does It Matter?

  • Web/mobile apps

  • Web = big $$$ today

  • Mobile = web of the future

    • Internet in your pocket


Is web mobile cross platform always a good idea
Is Web/Mobile Cross-Platform Always a Good Idea?

  • Mostly, kinda, sorta

  • UI refactor

  • Different play patterns

  • Different purchase drivers

  • Different release cycles

  • BUT partial is better than nothing


Why not dominant
Why Not Dominant?

  • Lots of skilled Flash teams

  • Lots of games in the pipeline

  • Variable browser performance


So?

  • If you’re not gearing up now, you should

  • You NEED a mobile strategy

    • Free-ish (with HTML5)

  • Watch out for browser performance variance

  • This section will look VERY different in the 2013 version.


Prediction 3
Prediction #3

IP Becomes Really Important

(But Still Isn’t a Magic Wand)


Why is ip important
Why is IP Important?

  • Facebook had over 550,000 apps as of January 2010

    • Probably 2MM+ by now

  • iPhone had over 300,000 apps as of January 2011

    • 600,00 by now


Where do little users come from
Where Do Little Users Come From?

  • Directory Search

  • Game Channel

  • Virals

  • Word of Mouth

  • Advertising

  • Directory Search

  • Game Channel

  • Virals


Ip and advertising
IP and Advertising

  • Does IP lower acquisition costs?

  • Yes!



Additional benefits
Additional Benefits

  • Fan Base

  • Price Points

  • Content Stream



Remember
Remember…

  • Trial ≠ Conversion

  • Conversion isn’t just monetization


Prediction 4
Prediction #4

Mobile-> Web Gets Leverage

(But Doesn’t Dominate)







Why?

  • Similarity of play patterns

  • Related expertise

  • Enough resources


But….

  • Not a freebie

    • UI

    • Play duration & other variations

  • Interoperation is hard

  • Competition will accelerate


And the rest
…And the Rest

  • The All-Singing, All-Dancing Photorealistic 3D Game Still Doesn’t Make It

  • 2009 Won’t Come Back For Hardcore Strategy Games

  • 2012 (post-IPO) Will Be An Interesting Year For the Zynga Quality Bar


Thank you
Thank You!


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