Social Gaming Summit 2009

Kudos to Charles Hudson for a splendid job running the Social Gaming Summit. It was a great turnout, over 500 folks showed up well north of the 200 or so they expected.

A few big takeaways:

  1. There is no ip in casual games. Duplicating each other’s games has been around forever, but now Zynga has turned it into a scaleable business, note Farmville copying Farmtown. Implication — the cost of development of social games is going to go up in order to create barriers of differentiation/e
  2. Game developers are trying to figure out Act 2. Single games companies are turning into publishers and echoing the studio model developed by the movie and video game businesses.
  3. Virality leads to scale, but monetizing scale requires engagement which is more about return rates than session time.
  4. FB Connect is still unproven as a viral channel. FB connect shows great promise, but it does not have the functionality yet that is available through FB apps.
  5. Transparency is a critical culture to create a rising tide and therein float all boats. The market is so large and monetization potential is so huge that everyone can benefit. The more information that is shared about what is working and not, will improve everyone’s chances to build great businesses.

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