Via a C-Net article called "Raising The Stakes in Social Gaming" (dated July 28th) depicts how entertainment companies like Disney, if not EA are buying up social gaming developers.
"A recap: Walt Disney announced on Tuesday that it's acquiring Playdom, one of the biggest social-game manufacturers, for $563.2 million plus a potential $200 million more in performance-based payments. That makes Playdom Disney's third major casual-gaming buy in the past few years, after Club Penguin (about $300 million) and Tapulous, a mobile game manufacturer. This follows Electronic Arts' acquisition of Playfish last winter and GameStop's purchase of Kongregate, a smaller but still significant player in the market, this month. Keep in mind that virtual goods were already big among a more subcultural set, with virtual world Second Life and role-playing game "World of Warcraft" continuing to tick along as cult phenomena."
Now Google doesn't want to be left out from its rival in advertising aka FaceBook.
The "Wall Street Journal" placed an article today Link. That speaks on how Google is getting the ear of other social gaming company stakeholders be it: Zynga (Google owns a $100 million stake), EA with Playfish, and Playdom. In order to create a meta social gaming publisher platform that will be targeted strictly to social gamers.
"It is unclear when Google may launch the new gaming offering and the plans aren't finalized, but people briefed on the matter said the games would be part of broader social-networking initiative that is under development by the Mountain View, Calif., company.
In an interview this week, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt declined to confirm the development of a social-networking service that would incorporate social games, rumored to be called "Google Me." When asked if Google's service might resemble Facebook's, Mr. Schmidt said "the world doesn't need a copy of the same thing."
Much like MMO's was the cash cow on the game industry block. It appears the new kid is the new cash cow that being social gaming due to ads exposure and micro-transactions.
"In countries such as China and Japan, social games generate billions of dollars in revenue. In the U.S., social gaming was a $700 million market in 2009, according to estimates by ThinkEquity LLC, a research firm. That figure is supposed to triple by 2012, the firm said."
Lets see how the MMO publishers and other game developers start to develop their own social games. Much like SOE has ventured into there "The Agency: Covert Ops" (Facebook game) also based on the same name for their MMOFPS title in development.
Now if the Social Gaming genre can be coupled with MMO's such as SOE may be considering with "The Agency". Can it enhance game play in both genres? If so, how?
The proverbial TMA (Trans Media Access) that was touted when portable gaming devices became popular in mobile games. Takes a whole new meaning if gamers via separate gaming devices can all interface in the same game title or game worlds. Albeit with limitations, such as portable gaming devices would interface in a game title or game world in the RTS format. PC gamers and video console players in FPS or RPG genres, etc.... Perhaps the Social Gamers via Social Games would interface via casual puzzle games in the same game world.
The only limitations with TMA is that of the game developers imagination and how to execute such a concept of gaming. In the process creating a new meta-genre for gaming as a whole.