Coverage of Social Gaming Summit 2009


I’m catching up on the Social Gaming Summit 2009 on the net, and here’s my bounty of news, twitter tidbits and links to further coverage.


Blog coverage

Misc tidbits from #sgs09 backlog

These are misc tidbits from the backlog that stuck out.

  • Social Gaming ARPU’s: top games $1-2/month, good FB $0.30-0.40, good MS $0.60-.070
  • Conversions to paying users for social games 0.5% to 1.5% much lower than traditional MMOG’
  • Greg Tseng/Tagged: The most important social network conversion rate is # of monthly users that become daily users look closely at conversion from monthly active to daily active — and see 50% as a gold standard.
  • Jia Shen/RockYou – 5-7% of daily returning users is good (discounting promos), Shukla – RPGs can see 40%
  • Panel on retention/acq: use FB and provide free virtual goods at a staggered pace to bring user pack to app/game
  • Jia Shen/RockYou: Vanity URLs help with branding and discoverability in Facebook. Finding apps is still hard
  • Simplest thing for retention is to give incentives or alerts at a specific amount of time. Mafia Wars’ alert says New Jobs available
  • jnusser/vindicia: in RMT, friendly fraud 100x real, malicious fraud
  • Women, 34 to 50 in the US is the best audience you can get for monetization
  • Jia Shen/RockYou: FB retention is easier. Nobody uninstalls apps, devs can always try to reingage. MS has signif churn on apps
  • Jia Shen/RockYou: News feed momentum is important metric for distribution that is overlooked now. The reciprocation must happen quickly
  • Jia Shen/RockYou – the new FBook redesign is creating the same engagement growth as FB had during prev peak… but less spammy
  • Super Rewards: Free-mium social game monetization rates ~5% of users playing on any given day.
  • Zong: Fraud chargeback rates often in 5% range. Developers usually very happy with 1-1.5. Paypal: greater than 0.5% a concern
  • Virtual goods business in China is worth $4.5-$5Bn this year. Many games have over 1 million concurrent users
  • Playfish:5 weeks ago, we launched RestaurantCity with no cross promotion & grew to 5M users.
  • MySpace interesting stats: 70MM monthly in the US, 30MM are active app users
  • Playfish sold 20 million christmas trees and ornaments mirroring social behavior in real world
  • Zynga invested $2mil in guild of heroes. Seems kind of high!
  • on FB, there are 100 games with 100,000 players 30 games by 1 million, 3 games with 10,000,000 games
  • Zynga: Building social capital can go beyond your real friends” – Pincus; but 70% of the time you log into Poker, a ‘real’ friend is there
  • Playdom sold $100K worth of virtual pink Volkswagon’s on Sorority Life in 2 days
  • Keys to a successful social game by Mark Pincus at Zynga: 1) real friends, 2) self expression, 3) stored value
  • Zynga (Pincus) games have to give you 1) feeling of playing with friends, 2) social outlet, expression 3) invest in game
  • 3rd secret to Pincus – buy items (i am paraphrasing). Result is that players has social capital. Pincus is master of buzz words
  • 2nd secret: Pincus from Zynga – social games must be playground for your personality. Express yourself (channeling Madonna)
  • 1st secrets:  Pincus:  Games must appeal to your friends
  • A pillar of social game is to invest in game over time and give players a sense of value. This is why virtual goods are valued.
  • Design games as objects of social interaction, you get the benefit as a user of inviting your friends into the game
  • game themes (pets, farms, restaurants) in top 10 apps – starting to mirror the over 35 crowd (similar to casual games)

Read the full backlog via Twitter search

Explore posts in the same categories: event, games

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11 Comments on “Coverage of Social Gaming Summit 2009”

  1. Martin Says:


    Zynga -> estimated Revenue is $100 million – well okay that says techcrunch

    100 million (MAU, all games) x 1 $ (ARPU, monthly, reported in different blogs and the Social Gaming Summit 2009) = $ 1200 million?

  2. Martin,

    Zynga’s MAY hasn’t been 100M for the whole year, in fact it was less than half before FarmVille exploded. Also at SGS2009 the ARPU figures for Facebook users varied, but I remember seeing figures of roughly $0,3-0,5. If we approximate MAU 60M * 12 months * ARPU $0,4 = $288M. The latest rumours around Zynga place the 2009 revenues at around $200M, so the ballpark would be right.

  3. But:

    “Social Gaming ARPU’s: top games $1-2/month, good FB $0.30-0.40, good MS $0.60-.070”

    Zynga is one of the top players – so $1-2/month should be the ARPU – isn´t $0.30-0.40 a little bit too low?

    if zynga has only $0.30-0.40 – what about the rest (the “normal” long tail) –> even lower than $0.30?

  4. Martin, your quoted sentence means:
    – top games = standalone games like Habbo
    – good FB = well monetizing games on Facebook
    – good MS = well monetizing games on MySpace

    There is hardly any real stats about how the monetization varies for applications, so it is impossible to say if applications which less MAU make higher or lower ARPU. I’m not even sure MAU correlates with ARPU beyond certain size needed to create a vibrant economy. Niche application can have very high ARPUs (e.g. strategy games), and very mainstream games & popular games can have lower ARPUs (LivingSocial has MAU>30M, but most likely a low ARPU).

  5. Thx a lot!
    There was a clear misunderstanding of “top games”!
    I thought it means top games on facebook/myspace – well then it sounds better to me.

  6. […] Zynga has continued to remain tight-lipped about specifics, reports from 2009 indicated that they pulled their yearly revenues up to $80 million, based mostly on those two leading games. Specifically, people were putting their ARPUs at up to […]

  7. estetik Says:

    very good article thanks admin for the post

  8. The post is really good. Great! Thanks very much!

  9. Allan Says:


    As a keen online gamer your list are quite helpful

  10. […] Jussi Laakkonen is good during compiling couple lists, so I’m going to start off with his blog and his coverage of a Social Gamin Summit 09. […]

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