In a few years, more time will be spent on the internet than with any other medium. And a lot of that time spent will be spent playing around.
Social gaming is set to become a billion dollar industry, with no signs of slowing down. As games like FarmVille and Words with Friends become synonymous with social interaction, advertisers could be missing out on huge opportunities to reach millions of consumers.
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Join Jimmy Kim as he takes the stage at ad:tech San Francisco, April 11-13, to present on the state of social gaming. Learn more
The ability for advertisers to customize their advertisements in ways that are not possible with other online media is one of the many reasons why advertisers are starting to consider entering the social gaming arena. Leading up to his presentation at ad:tech San Francisco, iMedia spoke with Jimmy Kim, founder and CEO of NexoNova Studio, a game development studio subsidiary of Nexon, to discuss the potential of social gaming as a fundamental marketing strategy.
iMedia Connection: As the popularity of social gaming increases, and the number of available games grows, what would you recommend in-game marketers do to distinguish themselves in this arena?
Jimmy Kim is founder and CEO of NexoNova Studio.
Jimmy Kim: I think it is important for marketers to present innovative marketing packages that have clear metrics. The marketing packages should be more than in-game banners and simple cosmetic items, but rather efforts should be linked with gaming mechanics that can linked with performance metrics. The gaming mechanic-based packages will demonstrate the versatility of the game/platform, and game metrics will make it easier for not only the client to evaluate the success and failure, but also to set expectations up front.
iMedia Connection: Do you think the use of proprietary in-game currency helps or hurts a game's value for advertisers? Also, what is your stance on Facebook's new requirement for game developers to integrate Facebook currency into their games?
Kim: In most of the most-popular online games, ranging from World of Warcraft to MapleStory, in-game currency and cash currency items are both present. I don't think having in-game currencies hurts a game's popularity, but the game operators must constantly monitor the state of the in-game currency economy and also their market conversion rate to cash currency. Although Facebook Credits limit the routes for game developers to receive cash currency, I think Facebook currency really simplifies the jobs for developers and Facebook game players, which overall is a plus.
iMedia Connection: With the growing number of mobile gamers, and now tablet gamers, what are the challenges these emerging platforms create that didn't exist in PC-based games?
Kim: I think during the game development and operating process the concept of "playing anywhere" is becoming more prominent. As a result, game design should now take into consideration multiple access points, such as devices, and different kinds of gaming experiences (single vs. multi-play, mini game vs. scenario play) through those devices, as well as making sure the total user experience is connected throughout the different platforms.