Tag Archives: Social Gaming

Is Social Gaming the Future of Employee and Customer Engagement?

According to a May 2011 study by IPSOS conducted for Saatchi & Saatchi, gamification may have an important role in transforming consumer behaviors into new brand loyalty and employee communications, incentive programs and training. Some of the top-line findings:

  1. Ban it or exploit it?
  2. 50% say they play social games at work–guys more than gals 53%/39%–and Tablet owners more than smartphone owners (68%-54%).

  3. Are you as engaging as a game? 57% play social games to pass time when bored–implication, make the workplace and communications more engaging
  4. Give a break or take a break? 39-40% game when alone or in need of a “mindless” break respectively
  5. What motivates: “Discounts” are most compelling incentives for winning a challenge followed by “Social Action” and “Points toward Loyalty Program.” 25% said “Status in Community” was a compelling incentive.–wonder if that would change if bonus compensation and advancement were tied to it?
  6. Express your inner goodness to win: 18-24 year olds most likely to take a salary reduction to work for a socially responsible company.

Here’s the study:


Playdom enters the Magic Kingdom (part 2)

Last week Playdom’s acquisition by Disney closed. This week we spoke with Ben Chen, Head of Sales at Playdom, about SocialGaming’s mass adoption and future along with how brands can capitalize on the reallocation of consumer time in this space. To dimensionalize the opportunity briefly, with 45-minutes+ average engagement time, 100m US and UK players (over 200mm worldwide), and some early evidence that SocialGaming dynamics can change offline behaviors, this is a space marketers need to understand. Farmville, the first SocialGaming blockbuster, earns over 17.5 millon daily average users (DAUs)–only football, Obama interviews and a handful of other TV shows can garner that level of viewership–while delivering the kind of revenue that would put it on the top of Hollywood’s box office charts. To punctuate further, the 2010 Emmy’s earned 13.5 mm viewers and topped that week’s viewership charts. So think TV scale, Hollywood revenues and Gaming/Facebook levels of time and engagement.

Some additional data points:

Here’s our interview with Ben Chen of Playdom, the third largest app developer in Facebook:


What’s driving growth? Having a platform like Facebook with 500mm. Ben mentions the “K-factor” which is a graphing term applied by epidemiology to describe a viral effect.

Success rates in launching games? 60+%–with 2-years

Consumers are smart

Social City, 50 minutes average session, no drop off in levels of engagement until “level 29” with 3 million Daily Average Users (DAUs)

For consumers, it’s a commitment, so they want to see that the game will be there for the long haul and mandates respect for the consumer

How to respect the consumer?

  • What’s best for game and the user
  • Assets for game, additive a value-exchange for the user and brand
  • Playdom won’t short their user by popping up pre-rolls and banners to interrupt.

Magic Kingdom gets some Playdom

With the closing contract ink still only a week-old we had a chance to speak with Playdom VP of Business Development, Sean Phinney, and Head of Sales, Ben Chen, to discuss SocialGaming for consumers, marketers and what Disney entering the picture through their acquisition can mean. First, a look at what Disney acquired:

Between 2008 and 2010 Playdom grew from 10 employees working on one game on one platform (Facebook) to nearly 500 employees, 18 games, multi-platform and 42+ million Monthly Average Users (MAUs). They’ve become the third most trafficked gaming company in a field that seems to favor first-movers that get to scale with some hits–the rich get richer. More than just games and traffic, Disney also acquired an incredible set of IP–intellectual property–around game mechanics; user experience, optimization and acquisition; scaling infrastructures from legal to marketing and operations.

Here’s the first of two videos from Playdom executives talking about the Social Gaming space, the company and the Magic Kingdom. We’ll start with Sean Phinney, VP Business Development for Playdom:

In brief, there are a number of opportunities that I read into Sean’s comments for brands to capitalize on 7 million DAUs & 45 million MAUs with strong growth ahead as they seek to implement their intergation plans:

  • Find ways to bridge the Real Worlds and these Virtual Rewards/Goods/Worlds
  • Find ways to apply IP relationships with Disney/Marvel/ESPN/etc. into the gaming environment–for instance, if securing marketing rights around the Marvel/Thor movie, will their be a way to extend across a number of Playdom properties?
  • Your media has currency for recruiting more users who monetize at varying rates by game at a lower cost of acquisition

Finding natural ways your brands can add value within these gaming environments can become the “Magic Playdom” for brands.