Among the skeptics claiming social gaming was not a sustainable industry and that it would flame out as quickly as it appeared on the scene, perhaps none was as vocal as Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who used the pulpit of a keynote at this spring’s GDC conference to rail against what he perceives as a lack of quality user experiences in social gaming applications.
And yet, the social gaming industry keeps chugging along, seeming to get stronger and stronger with every acquisition, merger and investment announced.
Last week was a particularly busy week for the industry, as several major announcements came out about more money pouring in. Among the highest profile announcements came from 6waves, one of the early publishers of Facebook games, which first announced a couple of weeks ago that it was merging with another early entry, Lolapps, and then last week announced the combined entity had received a significant investment from South Korean online gaming powerhouse, Nexon.
On the same day, social/mobile game developer Globant, based out of Buenos Aires, announced they’d been acquired by Nextive for an undisclosed sum. This on the heals of their $15 million funding from Riverwood Capital and FTV Capital.
A day later, social game developer Kixeye, developers of the popular Backyard Monsters, announced a third round of funding from Jafco Ventures, Trinity Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners totalling $18 million.
Not to be outdone, the mobile gaming sector was also busy last week, with Glu acquiring not one but two mobile games developers — Griptonite Games and Blammo Games — and Capcom, the developers behind the iOS hit Smurfs’ Village, saying that the gaming unit overseeing Smurf’s Village brought in $15.5 million during the second quarter. Meanwhile, Japanese mobile-social gaming company DeNA said that it’s first quarter net income rose 45% to $121.3 million.
With all of the recent activity, and social gaming behemoths like Zynga and Disney continuing to soar, there’s little reason to think that the industry won’t continue growing and maturing. As for the skeptics, they seem awful quiet nowadays.
What do you think? Can the industry keep growing and maintain its torrid pace? Leave us your comments.
The Claritics blog offers insights and analysis on the rising social commerce wave and how app developers can leverage social intelligence for their Reach, Retention and Revenue campaigns.