La “pérfida” psicología del social gaming

Las acciones más simples son recompensadas, dando lugar a lo que los psicólogos llaman el state of flow, un estado de fluidez en el que hacemos clic de un éxito al siguiente. La relación de estímulo-reacción se compara habitualmente en círculos académicos con la Caja de Skinner. El experimento conseguía queratones o palomas realizaran determinadas acciones, como subir una palanca, a cambio de un premio. Ya en 1983 Elizabeth y Geoffrey Lofthus presentaron las paralelas de los juegos de ordenador y la Caja de Skinner en su libro “Mind at Play”. Hoy en día se han añadido algunos elementos a la relación. Así los jugadores ven a sus amigos como recursos y los juegos se monetizan mediante la venta de accesorios para sus mundos virtuales, lo que se traduce en ventas millonarias.

Ian Bogost afirma que los juegos se han convertido en servicios y para demostrarlo creó “Click the Cow” (haz clic sobre la vaca). Un juego absolutamente ridículo en el que hacer clic sobre una vaca cada seis horas genera puntos y menajes en el muro como “I’m clicking a cow” (estoy haciendo clic sobre una vaca). Contra todo pronóstico, llegó a tener hasta 50.000 jugadores al mes, que pedían nuevas vacas y funciones. Bogost acabó accediendo, creandofunciones de pago que fascinaron a los usuarios. Durante el verano de 2011 decidió terminar el experimento, para alargar el juego, los usuarios debían abonar una cantidad y con esto se retrasó hasta septiembre de 2011.

Desde el verano pasado Facebook también obliga a los desarrolladores de juegos a utilizar su propia moneda virtual y se hace así con un 30% de comisión en los social games. Zynga también se ha convertido en un anunciante, de ahí su importancia en los ingresos de Facebook.

Anuncios

http://www.marketingdirecto.com

El éxito de Facebook sería impensable sin los social games, juegos gratuitos que funcionan con una psicología pérfida, según recoge zeit.de. Estos juegos sociales suponen más de uno de cada diez dólares que gana la red social Facebook. De hecho, el12% de sus ingresos proviene de Zynga, el creador de Farm Ville, Mafia Wars o Café World. Zynga es el líder en su segmento pero hay muchos más como Electronic Arts o Wooga. Sus productos son juegos que han sido programados para redes sociales y de los que depende literalmente Facebook para sus ingresos.

Los juegos son ampliamente conocidos, banners y mensajes invaden nuestros muros. A esto hay que añadir que el jugador en redes sociales tiene un potencial enorme. Frente a las 215 millones de consolas en uso existen 850 millones de personas conectadas a Facebook. Farm Ville, Monster World o Brain Buddies tienen muchos adeptos. Christoph Klimmt ha realizado un estudio que demuestra que también la demografía es diferente. En primer lugar son un 70% son mujeres de entre 35 y 45 años. Los usuarios quieren evadirse de la realidad, buscan vinculación y además una satisfacción rápida. Leer más “La “pérfida” psicología del social gaming”

The business of gaming

The console-makers are well aware of this. Nintendo helped to pioneer the idea that games could appeal to a much wider audience. Its Wii console has sold 89m units over the half-decade since its launch, outdoing both Sony’s PlayStation 3 (56m) and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (58m), largely thanks to a games catalogue aimed at casual fans. It features titles like “Wii Fit” (a fitness game) and “Wii Sports”, a version of sports like golf, tennis and ten-pin bowling. The Xbox, PlayStation3 and Wii all have their own online shops that allow consumers to download games directly to their consoles, and all three are encouraging developers to make casual games for them. Mr Merel thinks the console business will remain a smaller though mostly profitable niche within a games industry that will range over a wide variety of platforms and attract a much more mainstream audience.

Categories such as “casual” or “online” games are not always neat and tidy. Not all online games are aimed at casual users. “Minecraft”, developed by Mojang, a tiny Swedish firm, is an online adventure game that mixes the building qualities of Lego with the social appeal of “World of Warcraft”. Despite its basic graphics and intricate gameplay it has sold over 4m copies. Conversely, some recent smartphone games have almost console-quality graphics and involving storylines. Development costs are already ticking up. The only safe bet about the future is that it will be more fragmented and more diverse than the past.


Thinking out of the box

Consoles are no longer the only game in town

THE IDEA BEHIND video games used to be simple. Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Sega and others sold consoles at a loss and made their money from the boxed games they produced for them. The punters, mostly young technophile men, bought the games from a shop, played them for a few weeks and then put them away.

Those customers are still around, but they have been joined by a plethora of others. New, more casual sorts of games are being picked up by a mass audience that would previously not have played at all. “In the past few years two things have changed,” says Mr Moore of Electronic Arts. “The first is the proliferation of platforms [on which to play games], and the second is that it’s become so much easier to call yourself a gamer.”

So the industry has branched out into a bewildering variety of sub-sectors and niches. At one extreme, companies in the traditional sector are still charging $50 or $60 for high-end console games with ultra-realistic graphics and cinematic game play. At the other, a shoal of smaller firms is developing simpler, more casual games aimed at a much larger and more diverse group of customers. In between, a mix of established firms and start-ups are testing new ways to develop games and new business models for selling them.

One of the biggest changes has been the rise of the mobile phone as a gaming device. Games specifically designed to be played on mobile phones already account for $8 billion of the $56 billion global games market, even though they typically sell at less than a tenth the price of a traditional console game. Such mobile games are simpler to play and require less time and dedication than the console titles. Their relatively low development costs and the fact that they can be downloaded over mobile networks bring them into impulse-buy territory, says Mr Harding-Rolls at Screen Digest.

Playing on the move

The potential market is huge. The number of mobile-phone subscriptions worldwide is over 5 billion. Last year 1.6 billion handsets were sold, a 31% rise on 2009. That is attracting attention from big, established firms such as THQ, an American publisher and developer of video games, and Square Enix, a Japanese publisher and developer that has a dedicated mobile division.

But many games for mobile phones are made by small start-ups, attracted by low entry costs. The best-known example is “Angry Birds”, released in 2009 by Rovio Mobile, a Finnish firm with just 55 employees. It is a light-hearted affair in which vengeful player-controlled birds hurl themselves at fortifications built by a group of egg-snatching green pigs. In terms of sales, it is among the most popular games ever made, with total downloads of more than 500m (the game is available in a free but limited edition as well as in a standard, paid-for version). By contrast, a console game is reckoned to have done well if it sells a couple of million copies.

Games are proving a popular application for mobile phones, and especially for the latest generation of smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone. PwC expects the market for such apps to grow from around $7 billion last year to $35 billion in 2015, and much of that growth is likely to be driven by games. They accounted for more than half of the 100 most popular apps for the iPhone in 2010 and make up a large chunk of the software market for other brands of smartphone too (see chart 1).

Online orcs

Thanks to the spread of high-speed internet connections, the web has emerged as a games platform in its own right. Blizzard Entertainment’s “World of Warcraft”, an intricate online fantasy world filled with orcs and dragons, attracts around 9m regular users, each of whom pays a monthly subscription fee of around $10 to play.

As with mobile games, much of the interest in online gaming revolves around attracting a new, more casual kind of player. Again, the potential market is vast. Companies such as PopCap, a Seattle-based games studio, specialise in easy-going games that run in ordinary web browsers. PopCap’s most successful game to date is “Bejeweled”, an abstract puzzle game in which users have to create patterns in a grid of coloured gems. It is easy to pick up but difficult to master, and can be played for a few minutes at a time. In 2010 sales of the full version, which sells for about $20, passed 50m. Leer más “The business of gaming”

Trends in in-game advertising

Social gaming is huge at the moment. Zynga are firmly owning this space and are consistently proving the business-case for social gaming, with the majority of their revenue coming from users purchasing virtual-goods that enhance their experience. As much as social gaming is a revenue-generator for many tech companies, it’s also providing a whole new advertising opportunity for brands. We saw the first high-profile example of this when Microsoft sponsored Farmville earlier this year. Since then, how is it progressing and is it really providing value to advertisers?

The answer to the second question, seems to be a big fat yes. Though it is still new and it is arguably only the more tech/social savvy companies that are really eyeing this up, the revenue potential is clear. According to a recent survey issued by Nielsen and Electronic Arts, when Gatorade invested in in-game advertising by placing branded goods in different online points, the real-life spend on Gatorade increased by 24%. Clearly this is an exciting, lucrative area and the ad dollars are following. The ad spend on game advertising in the U.S. was at $370 million in 2006 and this is expected to expand to $2 billion by 2012. And it’s casual/PC/mobile in-game advertising that will reap this revenue. In 2006 this accounted for 27% of the game advertising market, and by 2012 it will account for more than 80%. This is big money and big business and represents another stage in social advertising that can potentially transform advertising as we know it.
Case study – McDonalds

Earlier this month McDonalds experimented with one of the first advertising examples of its kind, by teaming up with Zynga to create a branded farm for just one day, that offered users the chance to grow mustard seed and tomato crops. They were then rewarded with branded products that would help them improve the growth of the their own farms. Though it only lasted 24 hours, it was available to every single Farmville user, being shown as a neighbour farm.That’s instant, deep ingrained (excuse the pun) exposure to nearly 70 million Farmville players worldwide.


Screen shot 2010 10 17 at 17.24.28 200x148 Trends in in game advertisingSocial gaming is huge at the moment. Zynga are firmly owning this space and are consistently proving the business-case for social gaming, with the majority of their revenue coming from users purchasing virtual-goods that enhance their experience. As much as social gaming is a revenue-generator for many tech companies, it’s also providing a whole new advertising opportunity for brands. We saw the first high-profile example of this when Microsoft sponsored Farmville earlier this year. Since then, how is it progressing and is it really providing value to advertisers?

The answer to the second question, seems to be a big fat yes. Though it is still new and it is arguably only the more tech/social savvy companies that are really eyeing this up, the revenue potential is clear. According to a recent survey issued by Nielsen and Electronic Arts, when Gatorade invested in in-game advertising by placing branded goods in different online points, the real-life spend on Gatorade increased by 24%. Clearly this is an exciting, lucrative area and the ad dollars are following. The ad spend on game advertising in the U.S.  was at $370 million in 2006 and this is expected to expand to $2 billion by 2012. And it’s casual/PC/mobile  in-game advertising that will reap this revenue. In 2006 this accounted for 27% of the game advertising market, and by 2012 it will account for more than 80%. This is big money and big business and represents another stage in social advertising that can potentially transform advertising as we know it.

Case study – McDonalds

Earlier this month McDonalds experimented with one of the first advertising examples of its kind, by teaming up with Zynga to create a branded farm for just one day, that offered users the chance to grow mustard seed and tomato crops. They were then rewarded with branded products that would help them improve the growth of the their own farms. Though it only lasted 24 hours, it was available to every single Farmville user, being shown as a neighbour farm.That’s instant, deep ingrained (excuse the pun) exposure to nearly 70 million Farmville players worldwide. Leer más “Trends in in-game advertising”

10 Key Take Aways From Casual Connect 2010 Seattle

The following is a guest post from Robin Boyar, founder of Market Research and Strategy firm Thinktank. You can reach her at robin@thinktank8.com.

SUMMARY: Every July, the casual games industry gets together in Seattle for Casual Connect. Originally focused on online PC casual games, the conference highlights the many forms of casual gaming such as handheld, online console, mobile, free to play or light MMOs, virtual worlds, and the latest iteration, social games, which took center stage. Read more after the jump.

Recovering from the global recession, the industry appears to be rejuvenated by emerging regions, new platforms such as social networks and Apple’s iPad, increased adoption of smartphones, digital distribution and new revenue models that benefit independent and traditional content creators. Those that succeed will need to be savvy about their strategies, as there is no longer a “one size fits all” plan for casual games success.


Posted by Azam Khan

thinktank8logoThe following is a guest post from Robin Boyar, founder of Market Research and Strategy firm Thinktank. You can reach her at robin@thinktank8.com.

SUMMARY:  Every July, the casual games industry gets together in Seattle for Casual Connect.  Originally focused on online PC casual games, the conference highlights the many forms of casual gaming such as handheld, online console, mobile, free to play or light MMOs, virtual worlds, and the latest iteration, social games, which took center stage. Read more after the jump.

Recovering from the global recession, the industry appears to be rejuvenated by emerging regions, new platforms such as social networks and Apple’s iPad, increased adoption of smartphones, digital distribution and new revenue models that benefit independent and traditional content creators.  Those that succeed will need to be savvy about their strategies, as there is no longer a “one size fits all” plan for casual games success. Leer más “10 Key Take Aways From Casual Connect 2010 Seattle”

Virtual Tiger Woods Takes A Tumble

Electronic Arts, the video game maker, made a point in recent months of standing by Tiger Woods, even as other companies withdrew from sponsorships.

The company continues to publish the Tiger Woods PGA Tour game. But at least in the short term, the game is following Tiger’s own golf results: not as good as they have been in the past.

NPD Group, which tracks video game sales, said that first-month sales of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 were down 32 percent from the previous version of the game a year ago.


Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10
Image via Wikipedia

By MATT RICHTEL

Electronic Arts, the video game maker, made a point in recent months of standing by Tiger Woods, even as other companies withdrew from sponsorships.

The company continues to publish the Tiger Woods PGA Tour game. But at least in the short term, the game is following Tiger’s own golf results: not as good as they have been in the past.

NPD Group, which tracks video game sales, said that first-month sales of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 were down 32 percent from the previous version of the game a year ago. Leer más “Virtual Tiger Woods Takes A Tumble”

Tiger Woods’ Pitchman Days Are Far From Over, Study Says


Research Finds Scandal Had Little Impact on Brands Golfer Endorsed

By Jack Neff

MILFORD, Ohio (AdAge.com) — F. Scott Fitzgerald may have said, “There are no second acts in American lives,” but when it comes to Tiger Woods‘ career as a commercial endorser, data suggest the author may be way off base.

The Study shows Tiger Woods did major damage to his own brand with  the scandal, but most of the brands he endorsed escaped relatively  untarnished.
The Study shows Tiger Woods did major damage to his own brand with the scandal, but most of the brands he endorsed escaped relatively untarnished.

Research compiled and conducted by WPP’s TNS indicates Mr. Woods did major damage to his own brand with his series of well-publicized extramarital affairs, but also indicates that most of the brands he endorsed escaped relatively untarnished.

The research indicates that despite months of unremitting negative publicity, Mr. Woods remains one of the most popular athletes in the U.S. — still neck-and-neck with Peyton Manning and Brett Favre — and easily the most popular golfer, continuing to beat Phil Mickelson by a three-to-one margin (albeit down from his margin of five to one prior to January).

That should come as good news to Mr. Woods, who will return to professional golf at the Master’s next month. The major caveat, of course, is that all of Mr. Woods’ popularity derives from his athletic prowess, so to become a bankable commodity once more means he’s got to win. Leer más “Tiger Woods’ Pitchman Days Are Far From Over, Study Says”