jump to navigation

Slides from Games 2.0 presentation at Web 2.0 Expo April 25, 2008

Posted by jeremyliew in gaming, social games, social gaming, web 2.0.

Some people have asked for the introductory slides from my talk today at Web 2.0 Expo about Games 2.0. These slides were just for scene setting and the bulk of the time was spent in panel discussion and case studies for the various elements outlined in the presentation. None the less, here it is.



Ben Vandgrift liveblogged the session. Since there is no way to link to just this post on his blog, I am quoting it here without any changes or edits (although note that my name is spelled Jeremy LIEW!)

{w2e fri session 1: games 2.0 (@11:56)}

jeremy lieu @ lightspeed venture partners

we’re talking about the future of game development and game types with web 2.0.


lots of things have changed in the web—mostly the variability of cost. these changes are tricking to the web industry.

aaa games can cost upwards of $30M. marketing driven by print and media advertising. building is about levels, and monetization is through box sales.

changes parallel the web industry.

small agile teams can get in-browser games out quickly.

(really want this slide .. don’t want to record it here.)

web games are multiplayer—not ai driven. no level design. &c.

some numbers:

halo3 $30M, yielded $700M.

powerchallenge < $8m. 1M players.

friends for sale < $1m. 7m players.


$30M marketing dollars, 10M copies sold, 90% through retail.

the rest—facebook.

aaa game sales declines over time.

social games are backward—they grow over time.

one of the critical issues for multiplayer games online is asynchronous play.

online gaming revenue: $3.8B 2006, $5.3B in 2007, more in 2008, and growing.


seqi chen (serious business)

johann christiansen (power challenge)

shervin pishevar (social games network)

mark pincus (zynger)

warbook—developed in two months by two people.

there have been improvements in play since launch, since it’s server hosted. just launched a sequel.

johann started in 2001, started text-based, added graphics over time.

how import are graphics, given their expense?

not important in management games.

launching early with a text-based game: profitable from the first year. management games develop a loyal user base.

variablized content?

mark: launched scramble as a live game, competition in real time. maxed out at 20K daily active users. spent three months reworking the game to be asynchronous. several tries before it reached a tipping point. thought asynchronous was a bad idea initially.

they come back to an asynchronous play because it’s your turn. there is a social obligation. the live game, though, represents 1/3 of daily users.

seqi: not turn based, but is asynchronous. (friends for sale). success about creating a game where social relationships are embedded into the game.

there is some value in unstructured asynchronicity.

johann: the social aspects of games are critical.

shervin: (gaming graph v. social graph). the emotional connection between people who know each other is quite valuable.

(think about a word scramble type game with continuous scoring.)

a very high accept rate on invitation is key to viral growth.

ghost racer: example of something too hard, yielding a high dropoff rate. ideally, a game should be easy, spreadable, with incentives for invitation.

six or seven months to 1M daily actives for popular web games. the important metrics are how things are being used. example: buying drinks for someone at the table at texas holdem. 250,000 drinks bought a day, for this little side feature.

(some discussion about funding of ventures.)

?: how to do something additional to viral.

mark: games are not naturally viral. other mechanisms have to be employed, and repeat usage has to be focused on. the ad rates you can buy traffic from are ridiculously low. networks from zynga are open to any new game developers.

shervin: ad-sharing is critical to cross-promotion. gaming bars, who’s playing what. one-click to go play. an independent channel from facebook. combined reach through SGN is 100M users.

seqi: (re crosspromotion) since they have one app, not so much cross-promotion. forced virality v. virality via game mechanic.

?: what are people willing to pay for?

digital goods, personal branding

?: real-money trading? digital goods?

shervin: a discussion on selling warbook gold. freegifts = largest virtual goods e-tailer.

mark: there is a direct line relationship between engagement and monetization.

?: social gaming and mobile phones?

they’re on the way.

?: $ for 1000 players / day? rate?

difficult answer. 4% monetized. few people getting north of 10%.

?: demographic information?

ffs: 60% female. 50% 20-25. 4th largest norway, big in saudi arabia.

power challenge: 90% male, 18-19 avg age.

texttwirl, etc: 60% women

warbook: 70% male

scramble: female and u.s.

texas holdem: make and foreign.

?:how important are incentives, like hint points?

word scavenger hunt.


1. Ben Vandgrift - October 15, 2008

the link for the article in particular is:

sorry i misspelled your name, correcting.

2. Ronne - January 3, 2010

intresting interview. It is kind of amazing how the gaming world is changing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: