If just a few years back it was a science fiction thing to convince a business angel to invest in a project which will produce incomes by selling pixels to people now, for sure that most of them which avoided such projects have second thoughts.
The virtual goods market in The USA has reached $ 1 bn revenues in 2009 and will climb at $1.6 bn revenues in 2010, $835 mil coming from start-up companies which didn’t exist three years ago. The virtual goods market in Asia was at $5bn (2008) and $7bn (2009) and will increase also in 2010. The European market was at 1$bn in 2009 and will increase in 2010.
The Big 3 companies in the social media gaming industry because this is responsible for the development of this market are:
1. Zynga (the developer of Facebook) with 700 employees and $200 mil revenues in 2009;
2. Playfish with 250 employees and $75 mil revenues in 2009 (acquired by EA in nov 2009);
3. Playdom with 300 employees and $50 mil revenues in 2009, the number one on MySpace;
The most important Facebook games and apps are:
1. Farmville (75 mil users)
2. Birthday cards (14 mil users)
3. Cafe World (30 mil users)
4. IHeart (28 mil users)
5. Happy Aquarium (27 mil users)
Dean Takahaski (GamesBeat) wrote in 2010 that “typically, the Facebook games are built with $100k to $300k budgets over four to 12 weeks and with a team of 10 or so people … The Facebook games are more like services, updated every week with new features for users and responses to user feedback, whereas traditional games rarely offer such updates. Farmville itself was built in just five weeks”.