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Social Gaming: Lessons from the Pioneers

2010 SXSWi Panel with Sebastien de Halleux, Omar Abdelwahed, Gareth Davis, Eric Todd, Jon David

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Isn't ALL Gaming Social?

  • Mar 14, 2010
Step one: Read Black Swan

Key Ideas
  • Social Games don't have an end.
  • Social games are essentially different iterations of gifting and sharing.
  • Surprised how viral, viral really is.
  • Immediate feedback loops from gamers.
  • Be very careful not to mess with core mechanics of the game: scoring.
  • Gameplay (story) is a facilitator of social interactions. No one is playing "farming" to learn how to farm.
  • Simply assumed that virtual goods are the best (only?) way to monetize social gaming. (Interesting)
  • Be aware of your audience, give them what THEY want.
  • Quality content will win. Always.
  • Personalized invitations from your friend is much stronger social motivation than anything a "brand" can create. You have to create activities people will CARE about.
  • Are you going to create an online trend and bring it to real life? Or are you going to convert a real life trend into an online trend?
  • We have mental immune systems that help us survive the onslaught of "brands" But your friends get a 'bye' that cut through your mental immune system.
  • We really really want to know how we compare to others.
  • Mobile social gaming (done successfully) is a huge opportunity
  • The success of mobile social gaming might be dependent on a portable experience across platforms
How to appeal to the social market to got users:
  1.  Launch (at Playfish, they launch at the 10% complete product milestone) Learn early whether you've found an audience.
  2.  Oh, and millions of dollars on marking doesn't hurt.


"Design for the mass audience, be far more accessible. The theme of the game shouldn't exclude people." via @jcuene

"I have a game in mind that involves your aunt on facebook, and me on XBOX... wait, that came out wrong." via @thomasknoll

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March 14, 2010
I'm somewhat a fan of social gaming. I'm trying not to get into it though, because I've seen how addictive it can be! Those are some interesting bullet points, and I love the formatting of your recap. Makes it such an easy read! Oh, and I also love how you quoted yourself ;) Too awesome!
More Social Gaming: Lessons from th... reviews
Quick Tip by . March 14, 2010
posted in SXSW on Lunch
Wow.... solid lineup in this panel. Expecting solid front-lines info from this crew. #lessonsfrompioneers
About the reviewer
Thomas Knoll ()
Ranked #2
Thomas Knoll helps businesses discover and love their customers. Practicing the craft of community cultivation and customer development, he helps companies build better relationships with their customers, … more
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Event Description:
As we enter a new era of games designed, produced, distributed and operated to facilitate interaction among players, we'll hear from the pioneers of social games how they think about and approach this new medium.

Panelists include:
Sebastien de Halleux
Omar Abdelwahed (
Gareth Davis (
Eric Todd
John David

Sunday, March 14 at 09:30 AM
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Events, Sxswi 2010, Panel, Sunday March 14, Screenburn, Eric Todd, Sebastien De Halleux, Jon David, Omar Abdelwahed, Gareth Davis


Type: Panel
Location: 6AB
Date(s): Sunday March 14

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