Business, casual gaming

What you need to know about casual gaming:

  1. Fast growing market – Casual gaming is worth $2.2bn, and growing fast – growth rate estimated at 20%
  2. Investors are getting in – Rebel Monkey ($1m), Alamofire ($2m), Zynga ($10m), C3L3B ($3m), PlayFirst ($26.5m), Doof ($??), Outspark ($11m) to name just a few
  3. Social gaming – Currently this means casual games that integrate with social networks, but virtual worlds are also starting to integrate with casual games (ie. Flowplay and something citypixel.com is looking at). Inside Facebook has a good rundownof the top Facebook game developers. One interesting take away is that the daily active user ratios for these gaming apps are much higher compared to other apps, 10-20% vs. 4-5%.
  4. Widening demographics – The San Jose Mercury News reported that women in their 30s and 40s are behind the casual gaming boom – apparently women account for 74% of paying customers. The NY Times just ran an article on how the “growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.”
  5. Big game publishers are taking notice – EA has started a division called EA Blueprint. The group will be led by former EA Los Angeles general manager Neil Young and artist and creative director Alan Yu. Products will include brand extensions of existing EA games in addition to original IP. The EA Blueprint games will reportedly focus on social networking platforms, such as Facebook. Apparently CAA is involved somehow.
  6. Monetisation – Current focus is on in-game advertising. CPMs are difficult to judge, Jeremy Liew posted awhile back that Wild Tangent was getting an eCPM of $150, but this was a mix of revenue from both premium and advertising driven games. Venturebeat interviewed Zynga and they were talking about CPMs of $0.10. Awhile back Google bought an in-game ad network so apparently they are getting into this space.
  7. Guys who know what they are talking about – Jeremy Liew, of Lightspeed Partners and Andew Chen

Also posted at citypixel.com’s blog.

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