The video game industry has always been at the fore-front of using innovative technologies to create unique, fun, and addicting experiences for their ever-evolving tech-savvy consumer marketplace. That being said, its no surprise the gaming industry has been utilizing social media as an effective means to reach their audience and expand gaming experiences into the online social realm for years. I remember my first real social gaming experience with Starcraft (another Blizzard MMOG), around the same time that Napster ruled the world and DSL internet connection became wide-spread. Fast forward to today, and we are see new start-ups like Zynga, Playfish, and Playdom create a multi-million dollar industry from social games via social networks, a burgeoning virtual goods economy, and new gaming experiences that blow my once coveted Sega Genesis out of the water.
Recently, I worked with Partner and head of Interactive Strategy at Crimson Consulting, Karen O’Brien, to conduct research on gaming industry trends and the use of community and social media. After completing an extensive competitive analysis across multiple game sites and gaming social networks we narrowed down important industry trends as well as some best practices for utilizing the social web to reach the new Gamer 2.0.
Where do you see the industry heading? Will mobile soon outgrow console or even desktop gaming platforms? Will console gaming be overshadowed by social network gaming? Or, will social games on the console be the first step toward integrating social media and television?