Social Gaming Boom

From the olden days of dice and playing cards to the golden days of Super Nintendo and arcades, all the way up to the current consoles and social networking games, gaming has evolved in a very social way.

It seems like we all feel the need to compete, whether it be for survival or for fun. And we have competed against each other in a friendly manner (no cheating!) throughout history by playing games. So as technology has evolved, so has gaming.

To get to the point, I wanted to point out the current trends the gaming industry is seeing. We all know about video game consoles like the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. But did you know that Playstation Network has 90 million registered online accounts? This fact backs up the idea that a majority of gamers are going online to play with friends and other users on games like Call Of Duty, Battlefield, and Halo.

Now that’s what I call teamwork (Call of Duty style) I apologize for the annoying announcer:

Video game consoles have been specializing on realistic graphics for multiplayer online games, up and coming streaming video, and being capable of playing Blu-rays. Meanwhile, social networking sites and mobile devices have taken a different approach to the gamer in all of us.

Simple games that go viral on social networks like Facebook is the basis behind these mobile social games. There are hundreds of millions of people that play games on a social network and a lot of them download the application for the game on their mobile device in order to play wherever and whenever they want to. These games are beginning to see big profits as well. To reinforce my last post on infographics, here is one from Mashable.com on the social gaming pioneer Zynga’s earnings.

I believe we have seen the rise of mobile social games just over the beginning months of 2012. It started with games like Farmville and Mafia Wars on Facebook seen as profitable virtual products. Game developers such as Rovio then ventured into mobile based applications with Angry Birds and that sparked many more popular games. Another big game Words With Friends has recently been the top application downloaded. But a ‘Pictionary-like’ game called Draw Something is my pick to be the next trendy social game. This game is different from the others because it asks gamers to cooperate rather than compete against each other.

In concluding this topic (because I HAVE to go play Call Of Duty with my roommates!), the future of social gaming is very unclear. But I do see mobile social games stepping up to the plate this year and being seen as a very viable option for game developers and advertisers alike. The market is open for new, innovative companies to change the way we play.

Random thought of the day:

The 20 minutes of belting out old tunes, acting out movie scenes, and daydreaming in my shower is as necessary as the 5 minutes it takes to wash up.

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