Facebook’s honeymoon with social gaming is over, report claims

We have studied social games on Facebook. How much these games are addictive to Facebook users! Remember Cow Clicker?  However, this report shows that the numbers of players decreased over the year and the game designers should look for any new elements to the game to bring new users or protect current users.

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After several years of incredible growth, Facebook’s gaming market could be slowing down, according to a new study from analyst firm IHS.

The report studied recent trends on the major social network, and found that the number of users playing games has stagnated over the last several months, and that increased competition has made it much more difficult for developers to attract and engage new users.

Looking specifically at the platform’s growth, IHS found that the number of users playing games on Facebook increased dramatically during 2009 and 2010, but that plateaued in 2011. The report did not provide hard numbers, but said that Facebook as a whole saw continued growth during 2011, while the number of users playing games “changed little.”

To put things into perspective, the report said that the percentage of users playing games on Facebook dropped to 25 percent in 2011, down from 50 percent at the end of 2010.

The firm specifically noted that even the platform’s biggest game companies have seen lagging performance. The FarmVille giant Zynga, for instance, dropped to 225 million monthly active users by the end of its fourth quarter in 2011, down from 266 million users just one quarter prior.

IHS said with this slowing growth, Facebook developers will need to be more cautious in the months ahead. In particular, the firm noted that acquiring new users has become much more difficult thanks to increasing costs and competition, so developers will need to find new and more efficient ways to attract users to their games.

In addition, Facebook users have begun to trend away from simple, accessible games, and instead have turned to titles that demand more skill or commitment. IHS suggested that developers focus on games that better encourage long-term engagement from their audiences.

Read article: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/162718/Facebooks_honeymoon_with_social_gaming_is_over_report_claims.php

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Why Facebook is the Ultimate Computer Game

Think about it.

You create a Facebook account.  Then what?  You begin to accumulate friends, build a profile, and design what you believe is the closest equilibrium between the real you and the virtually desirable you.  Ostensibly, you are engaging in an activity, like any fundamental online game, that can be scored and measured using universal standards.  Obviously people will play the game differently; some will choose to gain the most friends, be tagged in the most pictures, or join the most groups.  Some people will design their profile hoping to attract “friends of value”, or people who possess certain desirable qualities that make the user feel as if they’ve “won” because these desirable people want to be one’s friend.  Updates and interface changes in past years has changed or evolved most of these aspects on Facebook, but there was once a time when your number of friends and amount of wall posts was public information.  Other social networking sites can be measured using the same or similar standards.  On twitter your profile has been boiled down to a picture, a brief bio, and basic stats which include how many people you’re following, how many are following you, and how many times you’ve tweeted.  And so the game begins.  The whole concept behind Twitter is that people will follow or unfollow you based on what you say. Yes, people tweet because they have something on their mind, but the basic function of Twitter suggests that to an extent, the user will carefully consider what they say because it could benefit or hurt their quest to gain followers.  Additionally, one’s “expertise” or “level” can be determined based on a simple algorithm using Twitter’s provided stats about the user.  In order for all of this to actually work, to sustain its competitive game-like nature, these sites thrive on the basic concept of human’s desiring affirmation from others.  We seek approval from others, shaping our own identities based on the responses of family and friends to our actions.  This is not a new concept; in fact it is a very, very old concept, however in recent years programmers and innovators have found a way to take one of our most basic and essential human aspects and digitize it.  It is truly remarkable how such a basic human truth has remanifested itself in a form applicable to the modern technology and trends of our generation.  With the understanding that harvesting this fundamental human truth can lead to great success, I believe that future social trends, no matter how technologically advanced they may be, will essentially boil down to what is known as “the human factor”.

The “Educational” Games of my Youth Come to Facebook

As if I needed an excuse to be distracted at work, Carmen San Diego and Oregon Trail are coming to Facebook!

What’s interesting to me is that unlike, say, Farmville, Carmen San Diego and Oregon Trail are actually supposed to kind of teach you things. Like, for example, that even if you shoot an entire buffalo you can only carry fifty pounds back with you — even if you have, like ten kids traveling with you. (You know what I’m talking about, Oregon Trail players!)

So what do y’all think about this? Is it just a nostalgia fest for those of us who remember these games? Do these games teach anything? Are they ‘fun’? Anyone? Bueller?

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