CrowdStar, developer of popular Facebook games like Happy Aquarium and the “Girl” series (Modern Girl, Social Girl, Top Girl and It Girl), announced today that they will stop developing games for Facebook, according to an interview with All Things Digital. Peter Relan predicts that 90% of Crowdstar’s revenue will come from mobile next year, even though the company made 90% of its revenue from Facebook in 2011.
The key, apparently, is demographics. The most popular series CrowdStar has is the Girl Franchise, which consists of three of the four games CrowdStar currently offers for mobile download. The primary demographic of these games is women and girls ages 13-30, who are more interested in gaming on the go than sitting attached to a computer screen all day. “They are very mobile and communications-oriented,” Relan said.
If you’ve ever watched a 13-year-old girl texting, this concept is not foreign or far-fetched in the least.
KIXEYE, another game developer that has thus far worked primarily with Facebook, is also moving away from the social network behemoth, albeit in a different way. According to Forbes, the primary demographic for KIXEYE’s (more fast-paced) games is men aged 25-45. Kixeye’s CEO, Will Harbin, thinks this demographic is not only more likely to spend a lot of time playing games in browsers, but that they also find a stigma around playing games on Facebook, where the leading games involve farming, jewel matching and scrabble clones.
What to do? Forbes says KIXEYE “is pushing technology forward with synchronous, persistent real-time player vs. player (PVP) combat experience with Battle Pirates and they’ll be introducing an original role-playing game (RPG) that features multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) gameplay and a deep storyline this fall.”
As Zynga continues to have a monopoly over what games are (popular) on Facebook, other companies are deciding for themselves… How should games evolve next, and just what is the “social gaming demographic” anyway?
These questions continue to force game developers to find alternative platforms, new demographics, new gameplay mechanics, new gimmicks, and new modes of survival — or new jobs. #motivation
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