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05/01/2013 by

2012 The Year Of Social & Casual Games [Infographic]

Although Zynga drew back from Facebook, 2012 was a big year for social & casual games with hits like Angry Birds, SongPop and Dragon City.

angry birds - 2012 Facebook: Year Of Social & Casual Games [Infographic]

Gamification was a big trend in 2012. A trend that will have even bigger impact on the marketing industry in 2013. So CMOs, read along.

In the ‘major league’ of gaming, 2012 showed us several records. Take for example blockbuster Call of Duty Black Ops 2, it set a new box office record of $1 billion revenues in just 15 days.

In 2012 online casual games companies like SpilGames struck 200 million visitors a month. The Chinese online games platform QZone even hit 700+ million monthly gamers.

Remarkable move in 2012 was the draw back from games giant Zynga, leaving the Facebook platform behind. As trendwatcher I gave Zynga credits for its strategic bold move. Some others called Zynga’s decision “social suicide”.

Rebel Entertainment, the creators of Dungeon Rampage, shared this infographic showing how social games left their mark last year:

2012 Facebook: Year Of Social & Casual Games [Infographic]

My Opinion?
Informal and institutional investors, accelerators, venture incubators and VCs: Keep your eyez on the prize. You might want to invest in a mature or start-up gaming company in 2013?

CMOs, broadcasters and publishers, keep watching the trend gamification. It will offer you reach and engagement among several target audiences:

1. Reach and engage the screenager generations, nerds and tech lovers with hardcore console games (Call of Duty Black Opps 2 on ie. Xbox 360 Live) and hardcore PC games (World of Warcraft by Blizzard).

2. Reach and engage screenagers and families via the Nintento’s and WII’s of this world.

3. Reach and engage (urban) Moms with casual games and social games.

4. Reach and engage kids with simple web, mobile and iPad games.

5. Reach and engage passionate fans with branded interest games.

Some gamification examples for CMOs?

A race game for Audi on web and mobile, where people can race with new models to get full engagement and awareness.

A race game to fuel the Pirelli F1 community, like Red Bull is doing. Gaming can really be the activation mechanism for your long term sponsorships.

Heineken’s Star Player – the mobile APP to engage football fans.

HSBC sponsoring a football fantasy league.

My closing thought?
Digital disruptions and gamification are the new starting point of a marketing revolution. Embrace it.

Several smart CMOs have already embraced branded entertainment, in-game advertising, and a few out there dared to invest a tiny piece of their marketing budget in creating their own web games, or mobile games and apps.

The opportunities for brands with games are truly limitless. It can establish connections to new target audiences. The ones we used to call geeks or nerds.

What About You?
Where do you see gamification going? What would you advice CMOs to do with gamification? Your peers would love to hear your opinion in the comments below.

Follow & Share
Up for more gamification trends? Select our category Viral & Social Games or become a member to get personalized e-mail notifications. Follow Igor Beuker on Twitter, grab our RSS Feed or join our Facebook movement.

About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is ‘freejack’ consultant and a sought after keynote speaker.


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