BUSINESS

Social game developers favoring mobile over Facebook

TAGs: Facebook, mobile gambling, wooga

farmville iphoneSocial gaming developers are increasingly switching their attention away from Facebook and onto mobile. Jens Begemann, CEO of Wooga, one of the largest firms in the Facebook game development space, told Gamasutra that he expects the industry to shift from Facebook to one that focuses more on mobile in 2013.

“We still see growth on Canvas (Facebook) and obviously it’s still bigger, but the growth on mobile is extremely fast. The PC will become less important, and with that the browser, and with that Canvas. But that’s really mid-term,” Begemann said.

The company has already started to shift away from mobile in the current year and Begemann revealed that a year ago they “only had 10 people working on mobile” and that now mobile account for “over half of the 250-people company”. It has meant 60 percent of their workforce focusing on mobile with the remaining 40 percent on Canvas. In terms of the devices themselves, Begemann reiterated the widely held view that tablets will drive future growth in the personal computer market. That won’t happen just yet, according to Begemann, though.

“I think that people who are buying a tablet now, as a private person, won’t replace their laptop. They will phase out their existing laptop and they will maybe upgrade in two years to the next generations of tablets. I think that’s what’s happening,” Begemann added.

Perhaps the greatest challenge for all firms will be to work out what the best fit will be for marrying mobile and social together. Mobile has for a long time been the fastest growing vertical in the gambling industry as a whole and the fact social gaming firms are increasingly pushing their resources towards mobile is no surprise. There will still be the conundrum of how to turn play money into real money and whoever manages to solve that will make a shed load of money.

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