Study Finds Social Gamers Not as Interested as We Assumed

I think that most of us assume that all social media-based games are pretty successful. Think about great games like Draw Something, Hanging With Friends, and Lucky Battle.  These releases boast great reviews and ratings, and it looks like they’re doing exceedingly well. But a new study is showing that these “hit titles” may not be as popular as we all expect them to be.

According to a recent study by Playnomics, social gamers are losing interest in most casual titles at an alarmingly rapid rate. The study was performed between July 1st to September 30th. There were multiple key findings during the examination that could be considered cause for alarm for most casual social media game developers. Here is a look at some of the more prominent issues that arose from this particular investigation:

– Almost 95 percent of individuals that were active during the beginning of the study were found to be inactive at the end.

– An even more alarming statistic shows that 85 percent of those gamers did not return to a given game after their first day of playing.

– When there was play found, it was usually on a Saturday. However, the study found that most players had their longest play sessions on a Monday.

So what exactly do these numbers suggest? Well, it could be a variety of different variables. But perhaps the game just isn’t “that appealing.”  You’re hard pressed to find games with mass appeal like Angry Birds, and not everything is a winner. Although, in the same breath, you could argue that there are indeed some great games that are globally recognized and incredibly addictive.

So why don’t these titles garner the same long term attention? In my opinion its probably due to the fact that there are so many games saturating the market. If you look at the current console wars, games leak out slowly over the year, and multiple games usually only release during the holiday. The casual game market sees an abundance of new casual releases every day. That means that the “choice” of what to play has become supremely overwhelming, and statistically, players could play a new game everyday, seemingly for decades, without a lack of fresh new content to try.

There were also some interesting statistics concerning global position and gender;

– From a United States standpoint, Oregon sees the most casual game players, while a combination of Southeastern states posts the least.

– In relation to the world, the Middle East and North Africa posted very impressive numbers, and have overtaken the “title” from Latin America.

– Men seem to play more titles than women and quit less, and most women stick with a specific game slightly longer than most men. The official numbers show men quitting a game after approximately 4 days, while women will stick with the same game for 4.5 days.

The exact reason for this abrupt loss of interest in most casual games hasn’t been pinpointed, but it’s probably most likely due to a lack of ingenuity on the developers part. Most casual games are “carbon copies” of others, and they don’t offer fresh gameplay. Developers need to do a better job, promote originality, and craft better “hooks” if they want gamers to stick with their title for more than a few hours.

Photo Credit: Playnomics

About the Author

Ivan Castilho is a citizen of the world; CEO at Mindfield Digital and Executive Director at AppleMagazine, and Techlife News. Ivan's been an avid Apple user and consumer since 2008, with a major in Marketing and extensive experience in strategic management and consulting for tech companies. Hobbies include photography, design, and music.