Despite fallout after Facebook started steadily imposing their 30% “tax” on in-game purchases last year, the Internet’s largest social network has seen a steady exodus of game publishers from the platform. On a rough basis, it feels like anywhere from 30-50% of hardcore players have chosen to move their game playing to dedicated game platforms like Zynga, Kongregate or MochiGames, or are playing on standalone game sites like Ninjakiwi or Armorgames.
Recent coverage in the Wall Street Journal has talked about the trend of major game launches fuelled by major ad budgets.
For example, mobile app developer ZeptoLab UK whose “Cut the rope” which was launched in 2010 on the back of mostly word-of-mouth viral marketing is now spending as much as $1 million on launching the latest version of their game, “Cut the Rope: Time Travel” boosted by tie-ins with Burger King which bundled the green Nom Om monster plush toy with their kids meals.
It’s not all for nothing either, as NPD group said mobile game sales topped $2 billion in 2012.
Another mobile app developer, Tokyo-based GungHo Online Entertainment, launched Puzzles & Dragons in Japan boosed by TV ads, an unusual marketing tactic for a smaller (in relation to major developers like Electrionic Arts and Blizzard) game developer.
So it’s probably an opportune time that Casual Connect is conducting another game development conference in Singapore. The event takes place later this month (May 21-23) at the ShangriLa Hotel.
A number of app developers are based in Singapore and in Southeast Asia, so there’ll be some good sessions during the event.
There’ll be reps from Facebook’s game publishing arm, PopCap Games (which publishes Plants vs Zombies) as well as local developers talking about their experience.
If you’re interested in game/app development, you should take a look at the Casual Connect Asia event website.