Zynga the pioneer of Social Gaming Industry with an estimated valuation of $5.51billion[according to SharesPost Inc.] and with almost 260 million active monthly users[according to AppData a service from Inside Network Inc.] is the biggest Social Gaming Company with its games across social media platforms like Facebook and Myspace and extended to be played even on mobile phones. But what made a simple game designing company like Zynga to gain such a huge success over its competitors like EA and Activision who are in gaming Industry for more than 25 yrs ? The answer lies in not only its simple game play but also in the release of new features and regular updates which happens almost on weekly basis and introduction of virtual goods.
Zynga’s games are simple with 2D graphics, minimum strategical and easier game play but still it has users from age 18 to 50 so what makes these games so popular and engaging.These social games not only make a compulsive interaction between friends for regular help to complete goals and unlock rewards to enhance their city or farms but also it provides regular updates that are based on the various worldwide events happening in the calendar year such as Valentine Day Event, Chinese Lunar New Year Event, Irish St.Patricks Day Event, Swiss Alps Event, German Event, French Chateau Event, Yukon Event and many others which make the world wide users celebrate their Events with their friends separated by miles but connected through these social games.The simple game play not only involves casual old people but also professional people who are busy in their day to day life and do not have enough time to spend on console games. But these social games provide them few minute daily based game play to ascend their levels and complete goals.
Zynga's Social games makes the users involve their friends by sending requests or posting on news feed so as to complete the goals and get rewarded with Extra Features increasing the Zynga's users domain and providing free advertising opportunities for Zynga to target the non users among the friend network of its users. According to survey it is found that 55% of social gamers are female and 45% are male. Facebook is the most popular destination for online games, with 83% of respondents saying they have played games there. 28% have purchased in-game currency with real-world money. The average gamer has played six social games, and more than 50% of gamers started playing a game because a friend recommended it or because they saw a friend playing it in a news feed or other social stream.
In social games, users are encouraged to enhance their farms or unlock their businesses with the help pf virtual currency. These can include eventful buildings (Music Store), fanciful structures (Ferris wheels), seasonal items (mistletoe-shooters) or tools (tractors) that enhances the game play. Such goods allow users to customize their profiles, advance more quickly in the game or “keep up” with other players.
In short, virtual goods are a graphic extension of common user behaviors such as self-expression or competitiveness. For users who are patient, some of these goods can be earned after long hours of play and hoarding in-game profits. However, most are only available in exchange for a large quantity of the game’s virtual currency, which the player can buy for real money. Now What makes the users spend their real cash to buy Virtual Goods, it is because of forcing them into the compulsion loop. Firstly it makes the User addicted to the game and then annoying them by how long it takes to get something done.That triggers them to spend Virtual Currency on either buying virtual goods or energies that will save their time and will make them ahead of their friends. Zynga’s main strategy lies in making games that people can play forever and giving them a reason to do it.
[The article has been contributed by Aditya Agarwal .He has done his graduation in Computer Applications and has a wide array of knowledge when it comes technology products. He is passionate about playing computer games and aspires to become a professional beta tester and also starting out on his own as an entrepreneur in the gaming industry. ]