Social gaming has been through somewhat of a rollercoaster in the public eye. The insane success stories of companies like Zynga and OMGPOP had many thinking that social gaming was going to take over, with some such as EA founder Trip Hawkins even going so far as to say that consoles will become a niche market, crushed under the boot of the mighty social gaming giant.
However, Zynga has had a highly publicised and steep financial downturn, and games such as Draw Something struggle to keep players interested. In fact, a recent study showed that 85 percent of players give up on a free-to-play game after only a single day. This has shifted many investors and onlookers back into the hardcore camp, and the future of the once lauded social gaming market is now being called into question.
One man who has been doggedly going after the social gaming market is EA CEO John Riccitiello, who believes that the fickle switch to social gaming pessimism in the industry is premature. In a keynote address at the App Conference on Friday, Riccitiello emphasised the market is changing, not dying.
“The companies that are now suffering will have another day,” Riccitiello said, going on to say that the health of the market will exist due to great games, citing Dragonvale and The Simpsons Tapped Out as examples. He added that the reason for the current decline is simply “consumers won’t pay for crap.”
Despite EA’s attempts to break into the social gaming market, AppData shows that EA only has one game in the top 50 app rankings – The Sims Social, at 35th. Zynga’s The Ville comes in at 20th, which has to sting considering EA has accused Zynga of copyright infringement due to the games’ similarities.
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