It’s pretty insane with social gaming just hitting mainstream appeal. Just minutes before we opened the curtain on Google+ Games, Facebook jumped right in and pushed out an announcement that will impact social gaming. Then, immediately after that, Google+ Games disappears just minutes after Google announced the offering on its Official Blog. Weird.
LTG called tried to contact Google PR but could not be reached for a response.
Based on previous reports and rumors, Google wants to undercut Facebook’s stronghold on games by offering developers competitive perks like lower fees. But just like the console wars, you need exclusives. Farmville and Cityville are just the tip of the iceberg and very noticeably missing from Google Games. Thanks to an exclusivity agreement with Zynga, the battle has just begun.
Here’s Facebook’s pre-announcement brief, highlighting some smaller game developers on the platform. Ladies and Gentlemen. We are at war.
I wanted to give you a heads up that tonight we’re hosting a game developers event and will be announcing a series of updates. The event is exclusively for developers, but keep an eye on our developer blog this evening for details (http://developers.facebook.com/blog/). We’ll also share materials with you later this evening.
In the meantime, we wanted to share with you some recent highlights from what’s happening with games on Facebook Platform from developers of all sizes, around the world. Small developers focused on a variety of areas – from sports to strategy to mainstream – are getting big fast.
1. More than 200 million people play games on Facebook each month.
2. Social discovery is driving growth.The top 80 games on Facebook have at least 1 million active users.
The timing between the two online giants are responding as fast as two heated rappers jumping into a recording studio to give out their latest spat. While this is all amazing timing, it show how intense the competition for social gaming. Although we personally feel that social gaming may not have the staying power with the LTG staff (me included), the numbers can’t be denied that social gaming has transcended to more than just a fad. Check out Facebook’s list of companies that have built games for the social platform and their stats. It’s a definite headshaker and validates that social gaming is here to stay for quite some time.
Games: The developer, who builds exclusively on Facebook, has grown its company from 35 to 100 employees in the past year, and doubling its staff every six months. Their hit game, Island Paradise, has been installed more than 20 million times in the past two years without any marketing. They have also been successfully monetizing: when they switched Ranch Town to in-game Facebook Credits, they saw a 3x increase in the number of paying players over night.
Launched Crime City on Facebook last year and it quickly became one of the top five Facebook games of the year. Raised $20M in funding earlier this year, and plan to grow their business from 55 employees to 100 by the end of the year.
The developer of Family Feud, Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100 saw their monthly active userbase increase by 40% ober the last month. Launched just last month, Deal or No Deal has grown to 900k MAUs and 1 vs. 100 has grown by 700k MAUs. iWin has added 30 new employees this year and has offices in San Francisco and Kiev, Ukraine.
Broken Bulb Studios: Ninja
Warz, the company’s first game, has stayed above 125,000 DAU for two years with zero marketing. They launched Miscrits: World of Adventure in January and have 4.5 M MAU. In just over a year they’ve moved into a new office building and doubled their team from 11 employees to 23.
The company grew from 20 people last year to more than 500 people this year, in 4 offices on 3 continents. 9 out of 10 Kabam players play daily, and play for 3 hours per day on average.
MAUs for the company grew from 4.8 million at the end of July 2010 to 7.5 million at the end of July 2011 (60% growth). DAU to MAU ratio has increased from 15% at the end of July 2010 to 23% at the end of July 2011. Additionally, the GSN Social Games team has tripled in size over the last year.
The small team of developers built a football app, Top Eleven, that grew to 3.5 million monthly active users in just three months. Without raising any venture funding, the developer now rivals major brands.
The developer of Slotomoania and Farkle Pro draws in 4.8 million active users each month. Last year, Cesars Entertainment Corporation purchased 51% of the company at a value of $80-$90M, the largest acquisition of an Israeli gaming company.
Peak Games (Turkey):
Founded less than a year ago in October 2010, the company already has 50 employees, 10 games, and 10 million monthly active users playing traditional Turkish and Arabic card and board games on Facebook. On a daily basis, 2 million people play the games across five time zones, four continents, and five languages. The company has raised $7.5M, and says expects to grow to 250 million users by 2015.
Founded in June 2010, the hardcore social gaming company has raised $12 million from Accel partners, and has 20 employees. Gunshine, a crime-fighting game on Facebook where players shoot criminals and other enemies, currently has more than 300,000 monthly active users.
Pretty Simple Games (France):
In December 2010, the company launched MyShops, a game with more than 1.5 million active users that allows players to create their own shops and interact with customers. The company has raised $3.6M in funding to date.
With games like Pyramidville, Goobox and RobotZ, the French developer has more than 4 million monthly active users and raised $7.75M to date.
IsCool Entertainment (France):
The French developer has more than 2 million monthly active users on Facebook. They are the only social gaming company listed on a public market (Euronext), and grew from 30 to 85 employees in the last 12 months.