Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Friday, August 6, 2010

Google Games Makes Another Move

Google continues to build up its gaming portfolio with the acquisition of Slide, a social gaming site, for $182 million. As for how Google plans to use this acquisition, they're basically not saying much. Only that they will continue to improve the social aspects of many of their products.

It's pretty clear that Google intends to be a big player in social media, and not to just let Facebook own the whole space. Games are one of the biggest drivers of social media page views, as Farmville and its ilk cleverly encourage people to hit the site again and again... while encouraging their friends to join, too. So if Google wants to really drive adoption of its social platforms, it needs to have games as part of the mix.

The rapid rise of social gaming continues, as Japanese social gaming company DeNA is on track to hit $1 billion in revenue, according to TechCrunch. Zynga is poised to hit a similar revenue number in 2011, according to reports. Whoosh! That's rapid growth even by Google standards.

What does it mean for small developers? Opportunities abound on the social and mobile game spaces, and you don't need to have a huge budget to get there. Some of the most interesting game designs can be found on paper in the adventure gaming hobby; the time is ripe to see if some of those could be breakout hits in downloadable PC games, social, or mobile spaces. This new wave in gaming is barely under way in terms of design advancement; look how many of the social games are merely clones of one another with the IP scrubbed off and another one applied. But this is changing fast, and the opportunities are many.

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