5 Things We Can Learn from Mobile Social Games @SocDevLon

Below is a presentation given at Google Campus during the London Social Developer Forum sponsored by Central Working.  It’s all about how Mobile Social Games have lessons for other types of businesses.  The slidedeck was meant to be talked at but you can get the gist of it from the slides.  Thanks to all at the Social Developer Forum for hosting.

Here’s a link to the file on Dropbox -15 Things We Can Learn from Mobile Social Games.

Mobile Social Games are a fascinating emerging market sector as its the result of a combination of developers from the Facebook platform (mainly US focused) and Japanese mobile social network companies like GREE and DeNA combined with the huge global smartphone platforms in IOS and Android.  Revenues for some mobile social games are reaching amazing levels – Puzzles and Dragons in Japan is apparently making nearly $100m a month … Even an old tired brand like The Simpsons can do $7m a month $100m a year as a mobile social game so how much could other brands do if they moved into this format?   New companies are emerging out of nowhere – Supercell, the creator of Clash of Clans and Hayday is one example of a company no-one had heard of a year ago and is now generating $100s of millions a year in revenue.  Mobile Social Games companies are being sold for $100s of miilions (e.g. Ngmoco for $400m) – expect the first $1bn acquisition of a mobile social games company in the next 6 months.  Other media and industries need to look at mobile social games to learn how to succeed ….

The Five Things We Can Learn From Mobile Social Games are:

1. In-App Purchase – $100 in-app purchases, segmenting customers and hacking the demand curve (charge people who love your product a lot while still allowing people to access it for free) – what if newspapers could operate paywalls on this model?

2. Networks within Networks – mobile social games companies are fighting Facebook and Apple Game Centre for control of identity and owning the platform and creating their own networks e.g. GREE Developer Platform

3. Metrics – data driven management of usage, engagement, retention, revenues and acquisition – a lot of businesses talk about being “data-driven” – mobile social games companies actually are and this explains a lot of their success

4. Making Mobile Mobile Ads Work – new formats such as interstitials and offerwalls and new types of mobile ad networks such as Appflood and Chartboost

5. Social Hooks – combining the social graph and co-operative play to deliver deep social integration – you have to get help from Friends to progress beyond certain levels in Candy Crush Saga – lightyears ahead of other media

Where next/ – well the ‘next facebook’ was going to be Instagram but what if the facebook killer is actually a mobile social game platform from China … will the world’s next most valuable company be a mobile social games company? Will the real world start merging with the mobile social games layer as virtual currency and real currency converge around mobile payments … ?

Here are the slides below courtesy of the mighty Dex.io

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