Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Excellent Summary of the Top Ten Free2Play Publishers

The blog Free to Play, which covers the free to play games industry, has compiled an excellent summary of the important publishers in the industry. Read the whole thing.

Social games companies, SGN and Zynga make the list at number 10 as representatives of the social games industry. Here's what Free To Play says about them:

They represent a second wave of disruptive F2P businesses, thanks to that tie-in with the major Social Networks; without any partnership deal, in less than a year they’ve achieved user figures - as high as 18 million active - that are a notch faster again than the super-fast-growing Chinese F2P publishers. We’re seeing them uncharacteristically early - it took the games industry a good 5 years to even notice the existence of games like Runescape (now running at well over 1 million subscribers). So it’s no surprise that things like revenue levels are unquoted and relatively meaningless for these two - those will become established over the coming year or so. What we’re looking at here is very early businesses whose only direct, clear, measurable value (and indicator of probable lasting success) is the huge audience they command. These are almost typical web businesses, not games businesses, but the expectation among many is that with hindsight we’ll look back and say that they were the start of the new combined web + games industry, which is widely expected to eclipse traditional games.
Fact is, nearly all social games currently uses the free to play model, with the exception of CasualCafe. I don't see that changing any time soon.