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GDC Preso_FINAL

Jun 03, 2018

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  • 8/12/2019 Reynolds.brian.austin GDC Preso_FINAL

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    the social gaming tipping point

    Brian ReynoldsAustin GDC9.18.09

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    Quick History of Me

    18+ years in traditional games Civilization II, Alpha Centauri, Rise of Nations, Catan Founder of Firaxis and Big Huge Games

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    I Came from Traditional Videogames

    Console Games - Presently a Shrinking Pond:

    Six months of shrinking sales in 2009* 25% decline in hardware sales from 2009* Few publisher investments in new IP Game development costs rising geometrically

    * source: GamesBeat, 9/10/09

    $0

    $5,000,000

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    1990 1994 1996 1999 2003 2006 2009

    AAA Game Budgets

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    5

    10

    millions

    0

    15

    DAUs (How about that for growth?)30Mtoday!

    Q1 08 Q2 08 Q3 08 Q4 08 Q1 09 Q2 09

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    Totally new space!

    GAME MONTHLY ACTIVE DEVELOPER LAUNCHED

    1 FARMVILLE 33,439,207 ZYNGA June 2009

    2 MAFIA WARS 18,720,406 ZYNGA June 2008

    3 FARM TOWN 18,298,995 SLASHKEY February 2009

    4 MINDJOLT GAMES 16,490,304 MINDJOLT.COM 2008

    5 PET SOCIETY 16,022,779 PLAYFISH August 2008

    6 TEXAS HOLDEM 15,552,004 ZYNGA March 2008

    7 YOVILLE 14,104,241 ZYNGA May 2008

    9 RESTAURANT CITY 11,527,478 PLAYFISH March 2008

    10 BEJEWELED BLITZ 6,817,188 POPCAM GAMES March 2008

    TOP FACEBOOK GAMES BY MONTHLY ACTIVE

    source: InsideSocialGames, 9/1/09

  • 8/12/2019 Reynolds.brian.austin GDC Preso_FINAL

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    Social Gaming Also Outpacing Casual

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    The Opportunity

    Young space - rules still being written!Largest genre (Farm) mostly didnt exist until Spring Current number one game launched June 2009Costs are cheap barriers of entry are low

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    Welcome to the Web

    Reach, Retention, RevenueReal metrics, often available in real timeCan push new versions easily and quicklyMost game development happens after launch!

    FARMVILLE DAU 6/09 to present MAFIA WARS DAU 6/08 to present

    source: DeveloperAnalytics, 9/13/09

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    social games

    three pillars

    Play light interactions with social graph via game

    Invest put time into game to progress & customize

    Express its fun and efficiently generates social capital

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    Social Gaming Means Your Real Friends

    Facebook = 250 Million active usersFriend networks represent real relationshipsGaming can be social but safePlayers build social capital with real friendsRapid viral growth from friend to friend

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    Metric-Driven Game Design

    Unlike regular games we have a quick feedback loopCorrelate player clicks to metrics we want to drive Quietly try out new features on a subset of players Compare new features metrics to old one in real time!

    New features released when proven not when cool

    MAFIA WARS: Feature Analysis for CUBA

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    What Makes a Good Social Feature?

    WIN!Easy & drives DAU

    FAIL!Lots of work, doesnt drive any metric.

    Really simple (my aunt will like it!) Aligned with at least one key metric Virality user-to-user and one-to-man Engagement come back regularly

    Revenue something worth paying for

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    Examples of Features That Work Well

    Not zero sum I win and you win Gifting Free social capital for coming back Collections Collecting and trading together Harvest Return compulsion

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    So How Do You Make Money?

    Most players play for free Some will pay small amounts for extra turns Others will pay for exclusive items & collectingSocial Capital drives the desire to spend

    MAFIA WARS: Crates and Cellphones

    FARMVILLE: Tractor Fuel

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    How Do I Get Me Some of That?

    Retention is easiest metric to drive with better design Humility very important to transition to this space Must forget all you know of intuitive game design You cant port a traditional game to the social space Start with proven social features then add gameplay

    FAIL!Started with Diablo-style gameTried to find social features from thereNever managed to get it to catch fire

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    Whats Next?

    Social games potential billion dollar market Virtual goods already huge in Asia, growing here Possible mass market inflection point on FB Big players will attempt to enter the space

    Social games will need good game design Zynga the first with the most and best of breed

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    Mission

    connect the world through games

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    Were Hiring!