Just a year ago when people mentioned social games, it was a synonym for Facebook games. Fast forward today, Viximo’s latest report entitled ‘Beyond Facebook’ claims that all the other social networks, that comprise 70 percent of social networking traffic in the world, bring in more gaming revenue combined. More after the jump.
Viximo’s report, on conjunction with Superdata Research, examined over 750,000 transactions conducted from 150,000 users in the first half of 2011, determining that social gamers are currently spending $3.2B annually via other social networks compared to $1.3B spent within Facebook. This data was measured by calculating ARPPU (avg revenue per paying user) and included direct payments as well as incentivized offers, but not display advertising.
Facebook has well over 750M users, comprising 30 percent of the worldwide traffic for social networks. Although Facebook clearly leads in North America, it faces stiff competitions from local social networks in the international arena. Within Facebook, Zynga’s apps are among the top 25 with a combined user base of 268 MMAUs which is probably due to Zynga’s early start on Facebook coupled with the firm’s multi-year deal with Facebook.
This could signal to new entrants that entry into Facebook is difficult and challenging especially in lieu off its past changes to its ecosystem that rendered many viral apps obsolete. Although Facebook has re-introduced other attractive elements for developers such as the Ticker, data is pointing to the fact there are other places to earn social gaming revenue. There is Hyves in Holland Tuenti in Spain that offer a mass-market experience whereas others like StudiVZ target students.
Google+ is also on the rise, fast becoming a potential area for social game companies to establish a presence. It could also be attractive should the platform actually work as a place people play and discover games especially because of Google’s 5 percent commission demands on microtransactions vs Facebook’s 30 percent rate on Facebook Credits.
Europe and Latin America are the hottest growing arenas for social games whereas Asia remains the largest market for social games with estimated $2B in revenues centered there for 2011. Spain alone is expected to see a 5x increase in audience from its 2009 user base to 15.9 social gamers with revenues of $100M by 2015. Russia is also on the rise and developers are already making moves there, starting with Vkontakte and expanding aggressively outside of Russia.
With all these social networks, companies like Viximo and iJet Media offer a solution to developers to create once and deploy on multiple social networks. The cost and headache of dealing with multiple social networks can be too cumbersome for developers, so its highly recommended to those looking to seek riches outside of Facebook to work with one of these companies.