There have been a lot of industry developments lately which indicate that social games are truly on the rise, starting with a recent eMarketer report. The report predicts social gaming will exceed the $1 billion revenue mark this year, and its U.S audience will experience a 27% growth with 62 million US users playing social games at least once a month.
“Ad spending will grow more quickly; in 2011, marketers will spend $192 million to advertise on social games, nearly a 60% increase over 2010. eMarketer forecasts a further rise of 41% in ad spending next year.”
In addition to growth predictions, social gaming is also changing on the Zynga front. The game developer made its 8th acquisition in the past year and acquired social web browser Flock which integrates Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn status updates in a sidebar within itself. Facebook is of course not left out of the very profitable social gaming equation, and gradually pushed to make Facebook Credits the only payment option for the games it hosts via among others 5-year agreements with its top developers.
Another sign of the social gaming industry’s development and consolidation is Inhale Digital’s new model which combines elements of social games and group deal programs. This combination may have a bright outlook if it gains enough momentum, but on the other side of the coin, nonprofit organizations are starting to utilize social gaming. World Wildlife Fund Canada partnered with game developer Inspirado Games to complete a social game which is aimed to support the organization’s conservation initiatives.