Google Plus:Not for Social Gamers

Google Plus:Not for Social Gamers

Google Plus the year old social platform that has struggled to define itself since its inception is discovering another audience component that it doesn’t appeal to – social gamers. Both EA games and Wooga (the third and fourth largest social game producers on Facebook) are pulling their games from the platform citing lack of engagement as the reason.

Not Google’s FaultSocial Games

While the tech press has been quick to seize this and use it as another nail in the platforms coffin, I’m not convinced. While I am not a huge fan of G+, I personally think it was yet another poorly executed social concept from Google and should instead have been Youtube plus – a social layer for video, I’m not convinced that EA, Wooga or other game producers leaving the platform is a sign of the platform not working. Zynga is losing players at an alarming rate on Facebook, their number one game Draw Something lost more than 5 million players during the month of May (according to appdata).

My interpretation of this is that it is less about Google + not attracting social gamers (which it was very unlikely to do in the first place) and more about the end of the first wave of social gamers moving on. Typically social gamers have been women – as purely anecdotal evidence, my girlfriends grandmother was an avid Farmville player, spending hours a day on it as a form of staying in touch with her family. While these games are still popular among these groups the lustre is wearing off and now they are looking for something more or at least something different. Zynga is pushing new items into its games in the hopes of appeasing players, but the response has been less than enthusiastic. Simply creating more “villes” or adding items to the existing games isn’t what the players want.

Games People Play

What they want is the puzzle that both game producers like Zynga, EA, Wooga and others along with Facebook and Google have to figure out and quickly given that social games are a huge source of revenue for Facebook at the very least. Certainly the need for the social connection that these games provided hasn’t diminished but the amount of work that they required to keep the players entertained increased beyond reason. Equally making them too simple – like draw something hasn’t proven to be a long lasting formula.

Pin It On Other Sites

Of course other platforms have arisen recently that may well have captured the hearts and minds of the once avid farmville population. Given that many of them were women and that we are entering the school vacation period there might be a seasonal fluctuation. In addition sites like Pinterest may well be stealing market share from the social gamers by providing the social element without the need to beg for items or recruit friends to the game.Time will tell whether this is a seasonal change in habits or whether this is an ongoing migration away from the social games on networks like Facebook and Google Plus.

Have you given up games on Facebook or G+, if you have why?


About Simon Salt

Simon Salt has been creating online content since 1993 and blogging since 2000. He is an author, speaker and digital strategist. He can be found on most social networks as "incslinger". When he isn't working he is either taking photographs or riding his motorcycle - sometimes at the same time.