If there was ever a sign of the prominence of social games, it’s that the Singapore government has announced they will be investing $14 million into local social games companies. The Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore has announced that they will boost funding for big media projects like films and MMO games to put “an emphasis on projects that are internationally-marketable and scale across media platforms.”
The funding has been spread among three years as the “GAMe+ Programme”, which aims to help the entire games value chain by providing game developer support at all ends of the value chain. Typically, game developers have trouble taking their ideas into development, and this money will be used to take good ideas and make them a reality. The incentive of the government here is to hit on this great space and bring business into the country. This is a testament to how promising the social games sphere is, even to entire countries
The Game+ strategy has three components: INSPIRE+, INNOVATE+ and INVIGORATE+. and according to James Brightman at Industry Gamers:
The first will see MDA “co-investing up to 30 percent in large-scale, bigger-budget game content projects such as the development of multi-million massively multiplayer online games.” The second involves “a joint call with the Central Provident Fund Board for financial management games on social networking sites and mobile phones.” And the third component deals with a “series of quarterly calls today targeted at start-ups and individuals for proposals for games on emerging platforms such as social networking sites, mobile phones, handheld devices and online game services.”
I’m really interested to see which games come out of this project, and whether any will be available for Facebook. The games, MMOs mainly, are social inherently, but no mention is made yet of the platforms they will live on. But if anybody was serious about making money with an online social game right now, it’d be pretty hard to ignore this ballooining social games space.