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"The future of social gaming is on mobile phones and away from Facebook"

By on June 27, 2011
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Michel Guillemot, CEO of mobile game publisher Gameloft, believes that the future of social gaming is on mobile phones and away from Facebook.

That’s what he told investment bank Berenberg in a recent interview, and published in a research note last week.

I’m inclined to agree.

Facebook is moving away from being a “platform” and towards just being a social graph and payment mechanism. In that context, the “just” is still a very big deal indeed.

The recent Flurry report (discussed on TechCrunch) shows how fast this is happening. Mobile has now overtaken the PC as the preferred access device to the Internet, with more minutes per day spent accessing the web via mobile than via computer. The two big categories are games (47 per cent. of usage) and social networking (32 per cent.)

Flurry chart

I suspect that this includes tablet usage, and as tablets continue to take market share from laptops and netbooks, I think this trend is going to accelerate. PCs will be relegated to the office and for people (like me) who do a lot of content creation. For people who just consume online content, the tablet/mobile combination will be hard to beat.

Which says to me that the opportunity in online games is moving from “social” to “mobile social”. If you are making games for Facebook, I would start accelerating your mobile strategy right now.

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:
  • Pingback: Web vs Mobile Content Consumption « A Great Becoming…()

  • Interesting question. Some initial thoughts:
    – smaller screen size means resource management is tricker, so not first to happen
    – competition means less AI/internal drivers. So competitive games are easier to code. Perhaps they are just a precursor to more genres
    – I think we’ll see FB style games coming to mobile in droves, very soon.

  • Andrew Eades

    Totally agree. That’s why our first game since Buzz! is the socially mobile game Quiz Climber.

  • What are the rules for mobile social game design going to be? Zynga’s mobile social games are way way different from their Facebook games: more focused on competition and intellectual puzzle solving than building and grind.  Why?