Top Portals by friends count

21 10 2010

I was checking out few portals today (Halloween is coming and they start to release my Spooky Runes). While browsing iWin I found out they have Facebook friends list with quite a big number of friends. This inspired me to check out other portals to see if portals real power translates to number of friends on Facebook. And it doesn’t.

Top 3 portals by friends count:

1. PopCap with 126.896 friends

2. GameHouse with 55.911 friends

3. iWin with 44.647 friends

What? No Big Fish Games on the list? Yep, they have only 20.742 friends. Still, it doesn’t stop them from being #1 source of revenue for portal games.

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This is why portals sell more than you do!

11 10 2010

2008 wasn’t a good year. This was the year of recession. The year of price drop to $6.99 on portals. The year when portals started war for and against exclusives.

GabCab GabCab ski lift GabCab awards

A lot of things happened I couldn’t keep up. In the middle of 2008 I started development of GabCab with Reflexive and Russell Carroll. This game took a lot of my time and I said to myself that I will focus on it and don’t blog or improve my website until it’s done. I’ve learned a lot during development of GabCab and I don’t regret it, but meanwhile, while world moved forward, my site moved backward. Now, once GabCab is done, I have a time to think about what happened and you can read few of my thoughts below.

There are few things that make portals preferred source for games instead of developers site. Let’s call them Unique Selling Points (USP) and let’s take a look at Big Fish Games (biggest portal at the moment).

* A New Game Every Day –  365+ a year. Yes, BFG releases more than a game a day, sometimes even 3 games a day. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is casual games market still growing?

8 10 2010

I hear a lot about drop in revenues from casual games. That’s something I didn’t experience myself (luckily), but it’s something worth taking into account. The fact that I’m making more money this year than I did last year may be just fooling me.

I typed “casual games recession” in google and one of the articles that appeared on the list: Real Games executive tells how the recession will affect casual games. It’s old article from February 11th, 2009, but at least there’s a possibility to check whether it was true or false.

One thing that I noted I wanted to repeat is this line:

“The market has the opportunity to be ten times the size it is today,” Barbour stressed. “Why don’t we do something to build the bigger market?”

That’s the words of John Barbour, CEO of Real Games (at least of the time of writing mentioned article). Mister Barbour, what can we do to make it bigger?

So we’re certainly not 10 times bigger today. I hear that most portals noticed a drop in revenues, not only we’re not in bigger market, but  we’re in smaller. I make more money from my games than I did, but I don’t feel like market in general is growing. There are places dedicated to casual games that please me with their revenues and places that make me disappointed.

I just hope that we, as casual game industry, stopped price wars, and prices will eventually rise.

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The business of games

5 10 2010

Seth Godin made a post about the business of software and I’d love to hear / read similar thing regarding the business of games. Some of his thoughts are related to games too. For sure in casual games we’re in drag dealer model (free trial versions) and those of you that sell via portals are on the platforms where commerce is expected (portals customers pay for their games). But that’s not enough. At least in many cases that’s not enough.

Being portal friendly limits our ways of catching customers. We can’t do much beside the trial version. We can’t even let users create and share content for our games (at least you can’t do it with portal versions).

To raise the prices portals invented premium / collectors editions. Those editions have extra content, which urges customers to buy those games, but there is very limited number of games that can be released as premium editions.

Any ideas how to bust your sales for “standard” games?

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