Just one year ago it seemed that Facebook WAS gaming, but 12 months down the line and it looks as if playing games on the world’s leading social network is on the decline.
A new report from IHS Screen Digest Media Research claims that at the end of 2010 around 50 per cent of Facebook’s users were regularly playing games on the service. By the end of 2011 that has fallen to 25 per cent
“Facebook rocketed to prominence as a gaming platform in 2009 and 2010,” IHS senior analyst Steve Bailey, stated. “However, with equal speed, the market then settled into a state of maturity in 2011, with conditions becoming markedly more challenging for game operators.
“While Facebook remains a worthwhile opportunity for companies able to meet these challenges, the tone of the market in 2012 will be somewhat muted compared to the optimistic outlook of the past few years.”
IHS blames the decline on a number of factors.
Firstly, it says that acquiring users is now more difficult than ever on Facebook, requiring the use of cross-promotional media to be effective. It also believes that following the casual games boom of the last few years many users are now looking for more skill-based games.
It also concludes that the rise in social gaming has now spread so wide that Facebook faces more competition than ever in the sector, such as from smartphones.
“Undoubtedly, Facebook will remain a powerful player within the gaming landscape, but it’s now part of an emerging multichannel, cross-platform approach to connected gaming,” the report adds.
“Facebook has implemented multiple minor initiatives to improve the platform for game operators, along with some major ones, such as its mobile-app software development kit (SDK) in late 2011. The social networking site will continue to make improvements throughout 2012, but the aforementioned issues are unlikely to be fully dispelled.”