As we continue to explore the integration of brands within social games, we notice several branded TV game show games debuting on Facebook or popping up in our top 20 lists of games by traffic growth. Here we examine the top five of these games in order of size.
Televised game shows make for interesting social games on several levels. First, they represent a challenge in deep brand integration where a developer works with an advertiser to promote a product. Second, TV game shows challenge developers to create features that capture or replace elements that make the show popular, such as a synchronous puzzle-solving experience or the prize-winning portion of the show. Third, and most interesting, TV game shows rely on audience recognition that varies sharply depending on region and target demographic.
MAU: 3.2 million
Family Feud the TV show pits teams of families against one another in a race to name the most popular responses to survey questions (e.g. “What would you bring on a picnic?”). The show first aired in 1976 and still runs today, hosted by comedian Steve Harvey. iWin President Peter Negulescu says the developer was able to tap into an audience for the game by letting the community create and answer surveys to form the basis for the in-game rounds. When the Facebook game first launched in March 2010, it showed rapid growth toward its all-time high of 7 million MAU and 1.5 million DAU in July of that year.
MAU: 1.2 million
The TV show of the same name has one person choosing multiple choice answers to trivia questions for an amount of money that increases with each correct answer. A wrong answer results in losing all of the money. The Facebook game focuses on a competitive style of play where you and several other people are all racing to give the correct answer and each question’s dollar value is revealed just before answering. Each person who answers incorrectly not only receives no money, but also functions as a multiplier for the value which then goes to all the players who did answer correctly. A special bonus goes to the player who answers the fastest. The game just launched last week.
MAU: 1 million
Wheel of Fortune is a word trivia game that first aired in 1975 where contestants spin a wheel to earn money or rewards and then have the chance to guess which letters might be contained in a word or phrase obscured on a game board. The idea is to guess the puzzle in as few letters as possible, beating out other contestants who also get to guess at letters. Whichever contestant has the most money at the end of the show (either through solving the most puzzles or having the most lucky spins), wins the grand prize. The Facebook game removes the element of direct competition, instead keeping track of scores through leaderboards. The game got off to a slow start when it launched in summer of last year and seems to be showing signs of decline in the last two months.
The Price is Right is a show where contestants guess the price of merchandise, with the player who comes the closest to the price without overvaluing it winning the object. At the end of the show, the player who wins the most bids (by dollar value) is declared the champion. The Facebook game tweaks the format by asking players to “earn” their way to the contestant’s role by bidding on items from the audience. It also has a series of mini-games that can help the player earn extra cash to spend on contests with real life prizes (like tickets to the actual TV show). Since hitting a high note about two months after its August 2010 launch, the game has seen a steady decline in MAU and DAU to its present-day totals.
The Jeopardy TV quiz show first aired in 1964. Three contestants race to hit a buzzer in order to respond to a piece in a unique format where the the “clue” is actually the answer to a question and the contestant must form their reply as the question. The just-launched Facebook game maintains the format, but limits competition to leaderboards only — so no racing to hit the buzzer.
Though TV game show games don’t bring in as many players as other genre types we’ve analyzed, and despite the fact that some TV show games ultimately failed on Facebook, we expect to see the genre grow in the coming months as more brands seek social game integration. Already, we’re aware of two new games expected in the coming months from Family Feud developer iWin, through a partnership with entertainment programmer Endemol USA: Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100. We’re also seeing developers work to iterate on newly-released TV game show games like The Dating Game.
All data in this analysis was compiled using AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers. If you know of a TV game show game that was left off this list, let us know in the comments.