Social Media Conquers Online Gaming

How social networking has taken the gaming industry by storm

For over a decade, social media has had a dominant presence on the internet landscape. Numerous industries have employed social initiatives to connect to a new customer base. And most recently, the platform for online community engagement has permeated the online gaming industry.

What social media and online gaming have in common is their activity—gamers and social media devotees can work at their desired pace without disruption. Principles of online dependency manifest in the design of these websites, deeming it appropriate for many gaming companies to leverage social media into online gameplay. And what results from this social gaming is community expansion and broader market outreach.

Cultural anthropologist and associate MIT professor Natasha Schüll explains that both online gaming platforms and social networking websites are based on a formula for “persistence of behaviour through schedules of reinforcement”. Users are reinforced to access these sites through their rewards systems. Then they track promotions and bonuses through social media because of their infatuation with the variety and unpredictability of rewards.

Back in 2011, social business consultancy firm RMM London collaborated with employees of InterCasino, a pioneer in the online gambling industry, on social initiatives to strengthen their community and create buzz in the sector. Strategies were implemented to reinforce existing customer relations and to draw in new players, and within the week 34 new accounts were generated and 15 were reactivated. Immediately, other platforms began utilizing social media communities such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as other social integrations as polls, surveys, and even active participation in casino forums.

However, some traveled on a different route, starting off their online gaming venture on social media websites. Zynga, a provider of social game services, began offering their products on Facebook, such as Farmville, a game that reeled in 10 million daily active users just six weeks after its June 2009 launch. Zynga currently has over 27.5 million monthly active users.

One of the most popular forms of social gaming is through online casino play, which isn’t much of a surprise considering the online gambling industry is worth over $30 billion dollars. Although casino gaming is a solitary activity, the addition of socializing on the online counterparts provide more player motivation and increased gameplay because of the interaction with friends.

Social engagement has become a firm fixture in the online gaming industry. Without the implementation of community building amongst gamers, gaming companies don’t stand a chance in future success.

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This is from an affiliate, but, as a former Farmville and current Candy Crush Saga addict, I found it an interesting article to share.

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