Develop Conference 2012

It’s a busy week for Jeff this week , today he’s heading down to Brighton for the Develop Conference . Not only is Jeff attending the conference he is also really looking forward to giving a talk tomorrow (Tuesday 10th, 10:20) on the evolution of casual gaming and the rise of IPTV, and let’s not forget that this will be no ordinary talk, this will be a talk with a very special twist…

For those of you lucky enough to be going to the conference why not pop along to Jeff’s talk and find out what this twist is.  Other than that it will be a whirlwind week of business meetings , and networking for Jeff. Keep an eye out for him if you’re down there!

Matmi keeps rollin’ on….

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Retention patterns in social vs. casual games

Lifetime login intensity distribution graph

This article was written by Vostu co-founder and Chief Scientist Mario Schlosser and Chief Researcher Neil Molino. It compares retention patterns between Vostu’s city-building sim, MegaCity, and its recently-released real time soccer sim, Gol Mania.

Social and casual games need to learn from each other. Social games need to make it less burdensome for users to return: ease users back into the game instead of showing them the one hundred feature launches they missed while they were gone. Casual games need long-term investment opportunities for the user.

Read the full post here:


Mini Matmian:

A great in-depth look at the advantages and disadvantages of casual games vs social games; and what they can learn from each other.

10 reasons why Google+ is a better platform than Facebook for game developers as well as for gamers.

►Mini Matmian:

Aabid Siddique (Game Producer and Creator of Geek Games) wrote an interesting article on why he believes Google+ is a better platform than Facebook for game developers as well as for gamers. 

In short the 10 points are:

1) Soured relationships:

Facebook created a lot of bad blood with smaller game studios early last year when it started throttling its notifications sharing feature. According to the newer rules, a player could only view a specific game notification on his/her Newsfeed if he/she had already logged in and played the game before.

2) High cut of revenues:

In comparison, Google+ is breaking ground here by initially charging only 5% of game revenues. This move has been welcomed by studios and there is a lot of excitement in the industry, especially among fledgling game developers eager to build the next great social game idea.

3App Store:

Google already has its Chrome App Store live in its browsers and on its Android mobile OS. It’s a no-brainer that eventually it will make the app store available on its social networking system too.

4) Favoritism:

Atleast as of now, Google has shown a solid commitment to the industry by making its platform equally accessible to all. And it makes sense for Google to continue the same way.

5)  Intentions:

 Facebook was never the most game developer friendly platform in the social networking space. And from the way things have gone, its gaming system has only benefited the biggest companies. Google, for that matter has made gaming a very strong priority. It’s launching its gaming service at almost the same time as the public launch of Google+ itself and has shown a lot of commitment to building out a robust, no-strings-attached platform for game developers.

6)  Innovation:

A lot of the newer games are incorporating innovative features like location-based gaming, voice activated menus, live game-room chats, video streaming etc. In each of these segments, Google+ can provide a much more powerful platform than Facebook. 

7) Presence of an excellent games catalogue:

Interestingly Google has already started featuring its games much like how it features them on its app store. It has a cute little games icon on top which automatically shows you its existing games catalogue.

8) Cloud gaming:

As games get more and more sophisticated and start offering much more powerful graphics and playability, all these games will start functioning more predominantly from extremely powerful cloud-based servers. Google has always been at the forefront of Cloud Computing and has a much better understanding of this technology than most of the competition.

9)  Facebook marketing:

Advertising on Facebook is a funding nightmare. The costs per acquisition have skyrocketed in the past year from a low of a few cents per acquisition to close to $10 as of now. It’s no longer a feasible platform for many studios. 
Google, on the other hand has two methods of advertising that it can leverage to help smaller developers.

10) Tight integration with mobile, tablet and browser OS:

This is probably the most important aspect of Google+. 500,000 Android devices are getting activated every single day. The Android mobile OS is now the most popular platform on earth. The Android tablet and laptop OS’s are slowly catching up. And companies like Wild Tangent are already launching gaming portal systems designed specifically for Android mobile.

[For a more detailed explanation of the above points, read the full article here]

Would you agree with these?

Google+ Adds Angry Birds to their Social Gaming feature.

Google+ have already attracted some of the big boys in casual online gaming by adding Rovio’s Angry Birds to the new Google+ Games button (as well as the age old ‘Bejewelled’ game).

So Google really is taking the fight to Facebook with adding an easy to access social games ‘tab’. Users can invite contacts from their ‘circles’ to play games online AND together! At the same time, the page will store the gaming data to make it easy to share/view scores.

Vic Gundotra, senior vice-president of engineering at Google, said:

"The experiences we have together are just as important to our relationships. We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life."

The Google+ games feature only started rolling out yesterday so fear not if you can’t see it yet. So far there are only 16 games but you can be sure that this number will increase dramatically once the feature is established and developers get their hands on the API. With the likes of Zynga already behind it, I don’t think this will be far off.

However, Facebook is Facebook…the behemoth of social networks and will not be out-done. They too have recently released a myriad of updates such as the Games Ticker. This will transform your chat space into a newsfeed of your friends’ gaming activity.

Clearly both networks are really going all out to gamify (add a game mechanics layer) their respective network. Knowing that social/casual online gaming is a huge (and growing) market. Don’t be surprised to see Google+ start adding a personal ‘acheivements’ or ‘badges’ feed in the foreseeable future. 

The social gaming wars continue…