True originality is not always easy to find in social gaming. And many games incorporate ideas from others and “borrow” whole concepts. We at Monkeybin are the first to admit we base our games off of well known game mechanics. But we do not steal someone's game.
Electronic Arts (EA) is big news; it is currently the fifth most successful social game developer on the planet, with approximately 33 million monthly active users.
So when it announces that it will drop three of its social games from Facebook, there tends to be a few shudders through the industry. Shares in Zynga, Facebook, and Electronic Arts all took a hit after the announcement.
Why is the developer taking this step and what does it mean in a wider sense?
If you like your social games pure and unadulterated then look away now.
Get ready for the inevitable invasion. When the printed word was king, the marketers didn’t take long in getting their ads in print; when radio came along, the ad men were suddenly in our ears selling us stuff; then TV came – and we all know what happened there; when the Internet came along it threw the advertisers a little – it was a new world, where people were in control of the content they read and watched – but soon banner ads and Pay Per Click came along.
Wherever people go, the marketing men follow and that’s why we shouldn't be surprised at what’s happening to social and mobile gaming.
A recent article in Forbes magazine asked “What Makes a Good Social Game?”
It's definitely worth considering, given that the games market is so competitive and is now worth around $15 billion.
The social gaming experts they spoke to were from Popcap and Gramble and they identified seven main characteristics, one of which we focus on below.
Sony’s recent announcement that the next generation PS4, to be unveiled later this year, will allow sharing of the game experience on social networks, is another sign that the “social” part of gaming is becoming king.
Until now, the experience of playing social games on Facebook on your PC, or via apps for the iphone, iPad or Android devices, has been considered quite separate from the console experience offered by the likes of Sony and Nintendo.
Is that about to change, with Sony’s long-awaited announcement?
Social gaming is essentially the intersection between mobile gaming and social networks; it has become so popular that whole conferences and summits are devoted to it, not to mention a whole host of websites and teams of developers dedicated to pushing its boundaries.
Among the many things that your smartphone is, it’s also a games board; and traditional board games that don’t survive the crossover to the electronic mobile and/or social format may be short-lived. The simple beauty and challenge of the original board games were amongst the first to lend themselves to the electronic format and now, with the rise of the social side of gaming, many of them are as popular as ever and being played across large networks of players.
With the recent release of MindFeud – Monkeybin’s social board game for mobile iOS and Android devices – we thought we’d take a look at the whole genre of social gaming to see what’s happening.
Nope. That’s not the name of a new Hollywood blockbuster. It’s a fact according to recent studies that have looked at the portion of the mobile gaming market currently being enjoyed on the Android platform.
It seems that many of the mainstays of the entertainment industry have declined in popularity over the past 12 months - but that certainly doesn’t apply to mobile games. They are becoming the new darling of modern entertainment!
Whether you are new to the joys of electronic gaming or have migrated over from portable consoles to mobile handset or tablet gaming, there are a number of ways you can make the whole experience more enjoyable.
Getting into the spirit of the New Year, we have scouted the Web for some of the top predictions about where mobile gaming is going in the year ahead. We didn’t check how many of last year’s predictions came true in 2011, but I’m sure someone somewhere predicted that Angry Birds would start to take over the world and tablet computing would skyrocket!
Game developers have been riding on the back of a huge boost in social and mobile gaming this year but, as we’ve pointed out before on this blog, the constant question of how to actually run a business from developing games and apps still bugs most of the smaller, independent developers.
As the year draws to a close we thought it was time to take a look at Apple’s iTunes Rewind 2011 which reveals the best iPhone and iPad apps, podcasts, TV shows, music and movies categories – according to Apple themselves. We focus on the paid and free iPhone/iPad apps and games, presenting the main results below.
As 2011 draws to a close it has been a big year for the mobile handset industry; one of the topics that has caused quite a stir amongst developers and hardware manufacturers is patent trolls and we take a look at where that is all at now.
I was one of the sceptics when tablet computers were first released, because I couldn’t see too many buying a pricey device that was neither a mobile phone nor a fully-fledged computer. I was underestimating the power of the “mobile” element of tablets – the fact that some of them can fit in an inside jacket pocket or in a handbag or school satchel – which seems to be more important than the limitations I was considering.
You can’t really have a great mobile game without great mobile graphics, though the old fans of Tetris may disagree! As mobile gaming continues to boom, the demand for more sophisticated graphics for mobile devices also advances; it presents many challenges because of the obvious size, memory, processor power and battery restrictions of the mobile devices like smart phones and tablets; we take a look at that below.
OK, it’s been a tough week and we’ve had enough of the serious talk, so we thought we’d have a bit of fun and take a look at the craziest smartphone apps around. We introduce the 10 maddest apps for iPhones and Androids to you below – in no particular order.
El Dorado – the “Lost City of Gold” - eluded the conquistadors and everybody since; many people seem to be searching mobile gaming in the belief that it may actually reside within the sleek confines of an iPad or on a Facebook Wall! What are we talking about you ask? We’re referring to the developers and businesses flocking to mobile gaming because of the opportunities of making a mint quickly.
Global financial turmoil and austerity measures? Rubbish! If people can spend $3 billion worldwide on things like clothing for their in-game avatars then either there’s something seriously imbalanced out there or there is more spare income available than we’re being led to believe. Hang on a second…I just need to harvest some more zombies on my Zombie Farm…brb. Damn – where’s my credit card?
Bored with the same old marketing methods? Website and social media sites not delivering the results you expected? Current campaigns nothing more than a damp squib? Times are changing quickly and any marketers who haven’t yet considered mobile game marketing might be interested in paying close attention to what their audience is doing, because advertising and branding tends to follow where the crowds go. A compelling case is building for businesses to shift focus towards mobile applications and we look at some of the key drivers here.
There might be a tasty new sandwich on the menu soon that has mobile gamers salivating, because it can make mobile gaming more like a full console experience. The high uptake of smartphones has spawned a whole new band of people who enjoy playing games in short bursts on the go – as we can see every day as we walk down the street, wait for a train, sit in the doctor’s waiting room or take a breather in the shopping mall. Well, some like to play games at home too – and that’s where Ice Cream Sandwich comes in.
Seems like ways to make smart phones even smarter are back on the agenda as the subject of phones with bendable screens is being talked about again; especially as the much over-hyped subject of what the iPhone 5 will look like is raised again. Will this technology be a game changer? What effects would bendable screens have on the mobile gaming industry as a whole? We check out the story below.
Mobile apps and gaming have become vehicles not only for people to get a more enjoyable, entertaining and informative experience from their handsets, but also for companies to market their products and services to their audiences.
Mobile gaming has certainly become big business, with sales reaching $5.6 billion last year, but the question remains whether mobile game marketing represents a good return on investment for companies developing games in the hope of increasing sales.
Here we look at a few positive examples that may help us answer that question.
With the release of the iPhone 4S, which we reviewed for you a couple of weeks ago, we are starting to wonder whether mobile gaming is going back to the future.
The upcoming release of the latest iPhone and the expected impact it is going to have on its users – turning more and more unsuspecting, innocent phone/camera/chat users into mobile gamers – is occupying a lot of blog post inches.
Here we ask whether we are seeing an effect not seen since the 1990s, when mobile gaming devices burst on to the market?