New network game rides social mobile wave

2012-01-04 00:00

PARIS — More than 10 million Facebook users play glitzy Diamond Dash each month, according to developer Wooga, making it one of the most popular­ games on the social networking site.

Now the game, which requires tapping on as many groups of gems of the same colour as possible within 60 seconds to accumulate points, is also available on iPhone and iPad, as part of an increasing trend to make social games mobile.

“On mobile, most games have been for single players,” Wooga co-founder and chief executive Jens Begemann said in an interview at LeWeb, a conference in Paris late last year where about 3 500 of the world’s top digital experts and entrepreneurs from 60 countries meet each year to discuss the state of the tech industry.

Diamond Dash players can now compete with each other across mobile devices and desktop machines.

“With Diamond Dash, it’s not about beating the game it’s about beating your friends,” Begemann said.

“A big focus for us in 2012 is to launch a number of social mobile games and to expand our business from Facebook where we have 35 million active users, but we are looking at bringing them mobile,” Begemann added.

Wooga is the third largest games developer on Facebook after Zynga and Electronic Arts (ERTS.O), according to AppData.

Other Wooga games include Brain Buddies, Bubble Island, Monster World, Happy Hospital and Magic Land.

About 70% of people playing Wooga’s Facebook games each month are women and the average player is around 40 and female, according to the Berlin-based company, which was founded in 2009.

Wooga has tried to move away from a more traditional gaming industry focus of developing games for 15 to 30-year-old men and concentrated instead on making them accessible to everyone, Begemann said.

Most people playing and paying for games on Facebook are American women above the age of 35, Julien Codorniou, Facebook’s Paris-based head of platform partnerships said.

“In just four years, Facebook has become the largest gaming platform in the world we have 250 million people playing games on Facebook every month,” Codorniou said.

The Facebook platform, where independent developers create applications, has created more value than any other gaming platform in the software industry, Codorniou said.

Revenue is generated through advertising on game pages and through the sale of virtual goods to facilitate progress through the game.

Women became more involved in gaming between 2005 and 2010, according to a study of demographic shifts in gaming on console, handheld devices and online conducted by consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates Inc. — Reuters.

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