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Playfish’s Segerstrale says big branded games won’t work in social networks

By on March 27, 2009
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The games industry’s reliance on sequels and big brand franchises won’t cut it in in the new world of social networking.

That was the message from Kristian Segerstrale, CEO of Playfish, at GDC.

Playfish is one of the most successful social network games companies. It has five titles in Facebook’s top 10 most popular games, each with at least 3.5 million monthly players. And they’ve just announced that Who’s Got the Biggest Brain is available on iTunes, bringing gamers’ Facebook friends to the iPhone via Facebook Connect.

So, courtesy of Edge, Playfish’s five big trends for gaming are:

  • The era of big franchises is over: it’s about what your friends like and are playing, not the brands that you recognise
  • Games are services, not products: it’s all about continual updating and continuous revenue
  • Marketing spend decreases and gets cleverer: it’s still important but it will be analysed using web metrics like click-through rates and cost per acquisition
  • Game design must change: it’s not about gamers interacting with a screen; it’s about giving gamers a space to play, which is more akin to designing a board game than a traditional computer game
  • Players can help you build better games: but you have to learn how to read the data, both qualitative and quantitative

Head over to Edge to get the full story.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com