In the last few month the media is talking more and more about social games and people do refer to Zynga. Recent news mentions that this company is doing close to 2 million dollars in revenues per day. Other media point out that the way the money is being made is almost scam. A few days ago I received an email with the question FarmVille=Scamville? Well more about that over here at TechCrunch. What is wondering me is the following. A long time ago companies like Jagex, Bigpoint and GameForge started with browser games. You can say MMO browser games. They gained a huge number of players with games like Ogame, DarkOrbit and Runescape.
These games are being played in the browser, so no download. Easy to play, nothing fancy as in design, simple sign up and free to play. Of course you can buy in-game items. Make no mistake these companies make easily revenues of 10-15 million euros (not dollars!!) per month. So what is suddenly the rush for every developer to follow a company like Zynga. Why is Zynga suddenly so popular? As far as I can tell, I believe that Zynga is really attached to Facebook. What if Facebook ends the contract? Is there a contract between Zynga and Facebook, if so, how long is the contract? When it ends and IF Facebook wants to continue, doesn’t Facebook holds the cards? Isn’t Facebook already a shareholder and we don’t know about it?
In any case something positive might come from this. It is said that Zynga goes IPO next year. They expect 400-500 million dollars revenues in 2010. An increase of again 200%. Any prospectus that goes along with this IPO should give us more details. If the IPO goes well, it will be good for the games industry in total. If not, then the golden oldies will continue with browser games, where they OWN the users email address, make revenues themselves and get there traffic through affiliate deals. They can survive without Facebook, but can use this community with social media-tools. Something tells me that this is much healthier, but how can you make a point when the hype is there and no-one is listening.