Barcelona-based developer Social Point struck gold when it released its 2011 sleeper hit Social Empires on Facebook, and recent follow-up Social Wars continued this trend. Now that the company has discovered the monetization power of the mid-core games, CEOs Andrés Bou and Horacio Martos are pursuing that part of the market full bore with new Facebook games and also expanding onto iOS before the end of this year.
Before Social Empires, Social Point developed 20 casual titles that gained plenty of users and monetized via advertising, but not that well overall. The company decided to take a risk and invest in creating a new engine for a real-time strategy game, Social Empires. The gamble paid off: Even though it’s one-and-a-half years-old, Social Empires is increasing its peak user numbers. Since January, it grew from 890,000 DAU to a peak of 1.3 million DAU) and monetization on a monthly basis. Social Wars is enjoying similar success, having grown to 750,000 DAU in four months.
“Middle-core games do better on Facebook because they’re easier to play and understand,” says Bou. “When you get into deeper levels of the game, the hardcore filters appear and game becomes more interesting and monetizes better.”
This success now has Social Point focusing exclusively a male-dominated, mid-core audience. It’s continuing to maintain and expand Social Empires and Social Wars, but there are also two new Facebook titles in the works: A turn-based combat featuring mythical creatures like dragons and an online RPG. Details are currently scarce on both of these titles, but Bou and Martos say they’ll launch before the summer.
Additionally, Social Point is moving into the mobile market with iOS versions of Social Empires and Social Wars coming later this year. Both of these mobile versions will use Facebook Connect, meaning players can continue the same campaigns they’ve been playing on Facebook. Social Empires is scheduled to launch sometime within the next two months, while Social Wars is planned to arrive on iOS devices before the end of this year.
Many developers are beginning to look outside of Facebook in order to reach more players, but Social Point is content to stay on the social network because the number of users that can be reached on Facebook is so much greater than any other platform. The developer tells us it has no plans to bring Social Empires and Social Wars to Google+ or launch its own platform, but it might reconsider at the end of 2012.
Social Point currently has 53 employees in Barcelona, but Bou and Martos say they plan to expand the company’s ranks to approximately 100 people by the end of the year. Social Point is also open to acquiring a studio focused on mobile development.