Social games 'to make $5b by 2015'

Social games 'to make $5b by 2015'

By Rob Crossley

April 11th 2011 at 10:50AM

Annual revenues to climb fivefold in as many years, analyst claims

Global revenues generated from social gaming will reach an annual $5 billion by 2015, new research claims.

Analyst group Parks Associates says that, should the milestone be met, social gaming will have grown five-fold since 2010.

Virtual goods and new advertising revenues will drive market growth, the research firm said.

“Gaming on social networks has quickly become the most visible category of online games,” analyst Pietro Macchiarella said.

“Right now more than 250 million people play games like Zynga's CityVille and FarmVille on Facebook every month, and both game developers and marketers have taken notice. Big brands such as McDonald’s and 7-Eleven have carried out cross-promotions with existing social games.

“The most powerful asset of social game developers is the quantity of behavioral data that they can obtain from their games," Macchiarella added.

"The abilities to measure the efficacy of different gameplay mechanisms, to tweak game design in near-real time, and to test new models are advantages that traditional gaming companies will never have.

“Zynga’s huge market share is the best proof of the competitive advantage made possible by properly leveraging consumer data."

San Francisco based Zynga, a key player in the social games space, had recently been valued upwards of $7 billion.