Casino-style social games are expanding quicker than any other genre, but are you currently prepared to take the plunge? We asked Superdata Research CEO Joost van Dreunen to inform us about the current state of social casino games.
As maybe one of the most misunderstood genres, casino-style games are tremendously common among social gamers. Classics like poker and slots draw massive audiences, comparable to that of FarmVille and Candy Crush.
And there surely has been no shortage in headlines. In early 2012, IGT acquired Double Down Interactive for a whopping $500 million. A couple of months later Caesars Entertainment purchased Playtika, the corporation behind Slotomania, which has 8.9 million monthly active users and an estimated $18.three million in monthly earnings. And market leader Zynga is rebuilding its share price tag by expanding its social casino efforts and by hiring executives in the gambling planet.
With all this activity, it is actually time to take a closer look and see where we, as an market, need to take social casino games.
The state of social casino
Given that 2010 the total number of individuals playing social casino games has doubled, and right now represents roughly one-third on the complete social gaming audience. With regards to revenue, the average social casino game player spends roughly twice as substantially because the average social gamer.
Our most recent numbers show that the typical income per paying user among casino-style games was $69.13, compared to $35.82 for social gamers (November 2012). Overall, American social casino players spent $698 million in 2012, making the U.S. the largest earner inside the $1.7 billion worldwide industry for social casino games. As well as within the most conservative scenario, the total market is expected to reach $2.7 billion by 2015.
Social casino’s good results is in its capability to target an older, non-traditional gaming audience. Even though poker’s audience does overlap with the conventional gamer using a 71% male audience with an average age of 27 years old, slots and casino style games reach a significantly older audience with an typical player being in his late 30s. Bringing this demographic into social gaming fold has been the crucial, simply because these players generally play much more intense games and usually be loyal to their titles.
The main players
Unsurprisingly, a host of providers is actively pursuing this audience. Roughly, there exist two groups. On the a single hand, you can find the social game corporations that see an opportunity to produce money off this casino trend. Soon after the explosive growth of social gaming in 2011 and early 2012 began to wane many — specifically small and medium-sized –game organizations started on the lookout for new approaches to create a living.
However, a single does not simply stroll into Mordor social casino. Building a slots game algorithm, for example, is usually a complex process, and calls for many mathematical experience. Regular gambling companies employ vast armies of PhD-equipped mathematicians to develop an attractive game experience.
Certainly this has not deterred many developers from releasing slots games. But in an already crowded marketplace it is quite difficult to compete on item, in particular against providers that have decades of encounter in building these games. Beyond the math, it really is hard for smaller developers to attract a large audience base. Similar to other game genres on Facebook, success largely depends upon the capability to cross-promote properly (acquisition) and maintain people playing (retention). At this point inside the game, assured riches can only come by being acquired, and that window is closing rapidly.
Alternatively you will find the land-based casino operators. This group of businesses has long struggled using a public image concern, and on the net gambling is illegal within the U.S. From their point of view, social casino delivers a great acquisition tool to draw players to on the web, real-money destinations.
Within a recent report within the Wall Street Journal, Greg Enell who oversees Double Down, stated: “The thinking is the fact that social gaming is actually a mechanism to develop a large gambling-oriented audience now, so when elements of on-line gambling begin to be legalized in U.S. we’ll have a significant audience online.”
Their most important question is: What percentage of social casino players will convert to real-money gamblers? In our December situation we discovered that social casino players and gamblers are overlapping audiences. More than a third currently visits a land-based casino a lot more than twice a year, and two-thirds thinks genuine funds gambling really should be permitted. Regardless of this enthusiasm, the issue to bear in mind is that even though the U.S. begins legalizing on the web gambling — and it’s a major “if” — its tax structure will be heavily skewed against the interests of casino operators.
Game businesses, faites vos jeux!
Right after an explosive rise on social networks, casino games are now also cropping up around the mobile platform. Many on the essential earners on iOS are slots-type games, as an example. But social casino is just not a speedy answer to either declining revenues or an aggressive acquisition approach.
What it requirements, on the other hand, is innovation. Poker games and bingo cards are straightforward enough to create. Nevertheless it is often a true design challenge to innovate on an existing concept and to come up with a new spin on a classic game. Transplanting existing game mechanics into a brand new platform, as generally takes place, is only the initial stage of a new genre emerging. One of the key developments to look for in 2013 is who manages to present a one of a kind take around the classic casino-style games.
Finally, beyond the jingle of the on-line and mobile slot machines, social casino may possibly prove to be the ultimate test of maturity for your business. The dangers of gambling addiction need no explanation. But equivalent for the debate on video game violence, to which the market responded by imposing a system of self-regulation, social casino games need the leadership of essential businesses in the ecosystem.
Will Apple enable gambling on iPhones even if the U.S. government legalizes it? What is Facebook’s policy on serving social casino advertisements to minors? It’s unlikely that a red-light district will emerge inside the midst of our on the net social activity, even if incidents like Scamville from only several years ago suggest that providers will undoubtedly try.
The existing momentum behind the genre plus the growing appetite for wealthy social game play invite each little and substantial organizations to jump in. Probably against the odds, my dollars says the market is mature enough and features a sturdy sufficient shared interest in creating a sustainable ecosystem.
And looking at the industry’s history to do the proper point, its self-critical approach and vast armies of inventive independent developers, it is a bet I’m willing to take. Are you?