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Wednesday, June 01, 2011


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Nalates Urriah

Backyard Monsters (BYM) is now so popular that lag is taking it's toll. My main game is just 18 bases. Loading each base, collecting resources, starting workers building is now a time consuming task and more work than play. Sitting waiting for a base to rez can take from 30 to 90 seconds. Sound familiar?

Hamlet Au

Wow, you got EIGHTEEN bases? You're hardcore, I just got maybe 7 or so.

Nexus Burbclave

I'm not sure what counts as "most owners not actively playing" but I just logged in to SC2, and there were about 500,000 people online. That is North America servers though, not worldwide. I'm guessing Korea is keeping the Asian servers pretty busy. SC2 is popular enough that Major League Gaming is using it as the RTS of choice for their tournaments. There is enough interest in SC2 to keep support several Pro tournaments and circuits, and there are people Making all or part of their income playing SC2 as well as casting them, and not just in Korea. To my knowledge there aren't any Facebook games with pro circuits yet.

None of that really invalidates your main point, but as an active SC2 player, I do feel a need to clarify. :)

To your main point, I do agree that we are reaching a point where Social Games are starting to earn "gamer cred", and for good reason. They have come a long way. At the moment, social games are still the AOL email addresses of the gaming world, but I suspect that this will change over time. Who knows, we may not be that far off from the first Facebook pro e-sport.

Hamlet Au

"there were about 500,000 people online"

Thanks, that's a better metric to compare with Backyard Monster's 1 million daily active users. I wouldn't be surprised if there's at least 500K more daily Starcraft 2 players in Korea alone.

Lucius Nesterov

I read that as 500,000 online at that point in time, not as a total for the day. If 500,000 were online at that time, there were surely lots more who logged in during the other 23hrs and 59min that day. How many more? Who knows, it's speculation. As a general point though, you're almost certainly right that there are less SC2 players than BYM.

Although if SC2 has shipped 4.5M units at $60, that's $270M from one game; and you've estimated the whole current Facebook game market at $20M.

However, where they can compete is on the rate-of-return. The production, marketing and distribution costs of Facebook games are a tiny fraction of games like SC2. They're getting higher, but still a fairly low risk way for a small group of people to get a bid wad of cash.

"future of hardcore games will largely be on and driven by Facebook" - so wrong I'm not getting into it. I'm guessing it reads differently out of context than what you meant.

Common Tater

Didn't people pay like, $50 or $60 bucks for SC2, and Facebook games are free?

By your logic, YouTube sensations like Keyboard Cat will soon crush Hollywood's dominance on blockbuster films, because they have millions and millions of views.

Suggested reading: Wikipedia entry for cost in regards to supply and demand.

Arcadia Codesmith

I'm keeping an eye on Richard Garriott's Portalarium. He intends to leverage Facebook as a gateway for more complex and sophisticated game content -- and SL's VW market space.

I'm not fond of Facebook and less fond of motherZucker, but if they can deliver, I'll be there (particularly since I'm quite fond of my favorite space cadet, Lord British).

As long as MZ remembers that his brainchild is nothing more than a useful tool, we'll get along famously.

Hamlet Au

"Although if SC2 has shipped 4.5M units at $60, that's $270M from one game; and you've estimated the whole current Facebook game market at $20M."

No, 20 million USERS. The revenue is much much more. Just one Facebook game company, Zynga, is estimated to get $800 million in annual revenue.

"Didn't people pay like, $50 or $60 bucks for SC2, and Facebook games are free?"

Facebook games are free but they sell virtual goods, about 2-15% of whom monetize (depending on the game type) at surprisingly high rates.


"Not too many orders of magnitude off"
An "order of magnitude" is a factor of 10 or so. Not too many would be - IDK 3 to 5? So we're saying it's between 1,000 and 100,000 times smaller? Some way to go, I think.


You can count me in on the 4 million players! The game was very addictive indeed!

Ninja Saga Cheats

Imagine Zafs having skills to be unlock on the monster lab. It would be domination!


I really think that you should make these games into mobile apps. I would buy a lot of them they are great games.

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