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The State of Social Gaming On the iPhone 33

Posted by Soulskill
from the mobile-tweet-hero dept.
This article at CNet takes a detailed look at the growth of social gaming through Apple's iPhone, a market many developers — and Apple themselves — are still struggling to figure out. The piece also speculates on how such games and networks will continue to evolve. Quoting: "While competition has spawned better features among these services, the future brings a growing need for a more unified network. Even if all these networks begin to become impossible to differentiate, users are eventually going to want a less-disjointed platform when jumping from game to game, and app to app. Thus far Facebook, and even Twitter to some degree have provided that constant, just by giving users a way to log in to these platforms. The unification can shake out in a number of ways though, the most likely of which is consolidation. Open Feint can continue to grow until it's snatched up by a larger company (like Apple). Or it can begin absorbing, or muscling out the other, less popular networks. As mentioned before, Apple plays a big part in this: not only in how it changes the hardware, but also how it continues to evolve the business of the App Store and information sharing between applications."
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The State of Social Gaming On the iPhone

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  • i-phone games bleh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    i hate gaming on the i-phone. Developers are wasting their time making games for people to play on the crapper.

    • i followed the development of the AI for Real Racing for so long, that now i want to play it just to see how well the use of genetic algorithms worked. but most people think $10 is a lot for an iphone game...

  • If you look at the arc of any modern technology, you'll find that gaming typically makes up a very brief interlude between initial takeup and the final settling on a backbone of business usage. So arguing over how gaming will proceed on these new social networks seems futile in the long run.

    At this point, if you aren't already making money from social gaming (in whatever capacity), you won't be able to get on board now and make any money from it at all. The gaming stage of technology is short, and it has al

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The future of every technology is in how it makes business more profitable.

      It doesn't work like that. Any given technology will eventually reach a maturity-decline phase of its life-cycle.

      I can't wait for that! Do Walmart do mobile phone contracts and PAYG sims? Tesco and Asda certainly do.
      This whole smartphone "phone as a platform" thing is SO MUCH BULLSHIT. I just want to use my VOIP and instant messaging for pretty cheap rates, and on a not at all locked down platform.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There is a whole generation of software managers and executives, those who spent their managerial "youth" during the rise of Microsoft Windows (and the prosperity that it brought Microsoft), who see creating a "platform" as the sole purpose of software development.

        Software for them isn't about satiating the need of any existing consumers or businesses. Rather, it is about providing some abstract "platform" that will become "ubiquitous", and make them "wealthy".

        They take this the-platform-is-everything minds

    • by g0dsp33d (849253)
      Yeah, I remember how PC gaming died. I miss it still sometimes. /sarcasm

      Actually can you any platform where gaming died? I'm trying but can't really think of any. As long as people are playing games, you can make money, you just need to make a better product and innovate (or flood the market with clones).
    • by Unoti (731964)

      At this point, if you aren't already making money from social gaming (in whatever capacity), you won't be able to get on board now and make any money from it at all.

      I agree that there is a lot of momentum and a lot of competition in the social gaming space. But I think I disagree with what you're saying in general. I think social gaming is still a relatively young, vibrant, and fertile landscape for making money somewhat easily.

      I remember in around 1995 or 1997, around the time Netscape 3.0 came out, thin

  • All these games cost money with which cost-conscious Apple fans are loath to part. Most Apple users already perfected phone-mediated social gaming without buying any fancy "apps." It's easy, and surprisingly fun! Just dial random numbers and see how long you can keep the person on the other end thinking that you're some long-lost buddy of theirs. Bonus points if you can get them to wire you money to bail you out of jail.

    • by I(rispee_I(reme (310391) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @01:23PM (#30499772) Journal

      ...cost-conscious Apple fans...

      That's quite the niche market.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not in terms of apps. App buyers for the iPod Touch/iPhone are notoriously price-sensitive, where apps that sell for $20 or more on other phone platforms will be sold for $4.99 on the App store. A few players are toying around with $9.99 price points, but that's still less than half what they'd get elsewhere.

        (OT: To top it off, Apple's App store is so painfully bad that it makes sales after the two weeks much tougher to get. I don't understand why Apple is so incompetent in this realm -- even if they don't

      • Re:Social Gaming (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Tom (822) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @03:05PM (#30500284) Homepage Journal

        Not really, no.

        If you take into account the time aspect, Apple products have become quite affordable. My MacBook Pro certainly did cost more than a generic notebook and most brand products, but it has lasted me longer than most other machines I had. Since a computer is pretty much a constant in my life, "purchase price" really isn't the valid value. "Average cost per year" or something would be, and on that, I dare say the MBP was cheaper than most alternatives.

        • Re:Social Gaming (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymusing (1450747) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @11:35PM (#30502172)

          If you take into account the time aspect, Apple products have become quite affordable. My MacBook Pro certainly did cost more than a generic notebook and most brand products, but it has lasted me longer than most other machines I had. Since a computer is pretty much a constant in my life, "purchase price" really isn't the valid value. "Average cost per year" or something would be, and on that, I dare say the MBP was cheaper than most alternatives.

          To add to this: my spouse's Mac laptop lasted eight years, with the only repair being the little rubber feet. I did boost the RAM and hard drive, but since all she needed was e-mail, Microsoft Office, and casual web browsing, it was more than sufficient. We finally called it dead when the backlighting began fading so badly that it was difficult to read.

      • by manicbutt (162342)

        Clearly, you have never read any iTunes reviews for AppStore games. The amount of bitching over any program that costs more than 99 cents is eye-opening. There appear to be legions of whiny, broke kids using the iPhone (or perhaps more likely, iPod touch) as a game machine.

  • Gaming (Score:2, Interesting)

    by haderytn (1232484)
    Gaming is beginning to mean so much more and yet so much less.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    must be time for another Apple story.

    • by g0dsp33d (849253)
      Get used to it, its synonymous with smartphone, but saying iPhone gets more readers, so everyone will keep using it. It got you to click and comment after all.
  • Author should be smacked for writing such disjointed crap and citing bad examples.
  • Woohoo, iFarmVille here we come!
  • As the developers are developing their games and other application in the mode of mobile's than it's certain that in the future computer will be replaced by mobile's sooner or later.
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  • The app store is getting full of this junk: fifty dollar "apps" that give you credit in some ridiculous game. And worse. The "social" aspect is focused on trying to hook your friends and acquaintances in; it's not MMO, it's Amway.

    Mafia Wars CEO Brags About Scamming Users From Day One [consumerist.com] and Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem Of Hell [techcrunch.com] are good starting points, if you haven't seen this before (or realized it as obvious).

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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