With Casual Connect being held in Amsterdam, we have asked Gaming Expert Reinout the Brake on his view on Social Casino Games:
Casino Games should go crossplatform!
The world is full with trends and hypes. Social Casino Games is a trend. Look at the basics of behavior of your users.
The world of online Casino games was always dominated by the big companies like Bwin and 888.com. They were fighting for clients in every way. This industry knew exactly how they had to do their user acquisition and affiliation was the perfect tool!
In a few years time everything changed. Users got other devices like tablets and with that mobile payments became important. But even if you have that all sorted, would the user have an interest in the same gameplay as on a PC? Zynga Poker was a huge success, where players could see how well other friends ranked and “spam” facebook timelines. Meanwhile today, Zynga has given up on gambling
Two world were not just becoming one. Social Casino Games got huge interest from the investors based on the fact that markets in Europe would open up for gambling companies.
If I look at this total market then I realize that King’s Candy Crush is so viral and therefore King can afford the campaigns that they run for acquire new users. Mobile acquisition is complete different specialism. So different kind of games and gameplay that mobile users prefer then for PC AND a different skill set needed for mobile acquisition.
Where companies like 888.com knew exactly the life time value of a user, on mobile all bets are off! Did I mention that Free to Play also kicked in very hard in the last years? Today mobile is “the” way to reach out to users to make them known with your games. The social element in this is how to get users to request items/perks from other users as the way Candy Crush did. The monetization how-ever is not as simple. Would you go for high rollers that are considered “whales” OR are you going for volume with in game purchases of 3 to 5 euros per time. Are you going for single play or not.
Social Casino Games is for me a trend word. We are all familiar with casino games as they are out-there for years. The gambling industry has been challenged with new devices, different payment requirements for these devices, other behavior of gamers, F2P and some examples of success, may I mention a lot went bust. Top it of with the fact that not every country allows these kind of games and that makes it hard to learn.
My advice to the gambling CEO’s is to research game play and behavior on tablets and mobile for gambling games, use mobile/tablets for acquisition and give the gamer the game play that they need to get in and to get up. Use micro-transactions to hook ‘m to your platform. Platform you say? Yes cross platform. The games should be able to be played on any device, at any time, where ever you are. I bet that micro transactions will be skyhigh when people travel and you get your beloved whales to put money in when they are at home chilling with or without friends, but for shizzle online!
About the author (Crunchbase):
He is founder and Chairman of iQU, a Haarlem based company, which is recognized as the top intelligence and performance marketing specialist for the gaming sector. He led iQU as CEO until 2012, establishing it as the leading marketing and intelligence partner for games companies.
He is also one of the co-founders of Spil Games, one of the largest casual games networks in the world with over 200 MAUs.
He is presently Managing Partner of GWC Investments, a specialist gaming consultancy and seed investor in many high profile games companies in US, Sweden, Netherlands and Finland, and GameOn, a VC fund investing in gaming start-ups with differentiated IP and business models from across the globe wanting to establish a presence in the Netherlands.