Inside Social Apps 2010, a one-day summit bringing together leading developers of apps and games for social networks, wrapped up yesterday in San Francisco. Panelists discussed the future of social gaming, the impact of Asian and other international markets, what the next “big hit” game might be, and of course the question on everyone’s mind: how can developers continue to make money as the space evolves.
As Inside Social Games reports, the morning kicked off with a panel featuring Crowdstar’s Peter Relan, Slide’s Keith Rabois, Zynga’s Vish Makhijani, LOLapps’ Kavin Stewart, and Playdom’s John Pleasants, who all agreed that 2010 would bring “better social features and potentially more complexity” to social games, along with the possibility of synchronous interaction – in other words, the ability for players to directly interact with each other.
The mobile panel, which included executives from ngmoco, Booyah, mig33 and SGN, made the bold prediction that mobile will overtake Facebook as the dominant platform for social gaming due in large part to the fact that many developing countries with large populations have more mobile phones than computers.
Zynga’s Marc Pincus and Playfish’s Sebastien de Halleux both gave presentations that focused on the what the future of social games would hold for game developers. De Halleux predicted that in two years almost all Facebook games will be recognizable brands, and that smaller developers would face a tougher time in the space due to consolidation and domination from the big players. Pincus’ keynote was more optimistic, emphasizing the need for cooperation to ensure continued growth.
Payment companies including Zong, Jambool (Social gold), eBay and InComm discussed the evolution of virtual currency, including Facebook Credits and credit cards.
and a panel of top social gaming executives about monetization, itnernational markets, and what might be the next big FB hit.
The conference ended with a panel on investing and acquisition opportunities in the social space. Panelists talked about the challenges of growing a game’s audience in light of the fact that Facebook has recently cut back the ways that games can market themselves virally among a player’s friend network.