What Makes Social Gaming So Popular on Facebook and Google+? [Infographic]

Games and social media are a natural match. With the exception of solitaire, most games involve at least two players. This infographic explores some of the ways that games have found an audience on social platforms like Facebook and Google+.

To create this infographic, Prism Casino took a look at Facebook user satisfaction scores to come up with a top ten list of favorite social games. Casinos, hidden objects and role-playing games top the list of favorite styles, passing trivia games like “Trivial Pursuit,” word games like “Scrabble,” and strategy games like chess that are very popular offline.  The “Scrabble”-style game “Words With Friends” is on there, but in terms of actual usage, “FarmVille,” “Mafia Wars” and “Bejeweled Blitz” remain the top three social games played in the US and UK.

The business model for social gaming is also different from that of board games, playing cards, and even traditional video games in that people can’t just buy a self-contained game and bring it home. Online games require maintenance, and thus subscriptions. The infographic also gives stats on revenue through advertising and virtual goods.  The free version of Words With Friends, for example, shows gamers an ad after every word they play. It must be working, because ad spending on gaming has increased 60 percent since 2009.

The mobility of the social game could be one explanation for its popularity. Games haven’t always been easy to carry around – arcade games weigh more than the players, and even the travel-sized version of “Boggle” still makes that clicking noise.  But a game of “Words With Friends” on a mobile phone with the sound turned off is subtle enough to be played in public.  In fact, about 14 percent of social gamers play at work for at least one hour per day.

Facebook has the largest share of the market with 61 percent of users, with Google+ gaining a little bit of traction at 17 percent and MySpace close behind at 15 percent.  Once people have run out of clever status updates and tagged all their pictures, there’s not really much left to talk about. That’s where an invitation to play “Mafia Wars” comes in handy.

In the infographic there is also a break-down of which devices get the most action. The tablet is starting to edge out the traditional gaming console, with 66 percent of tablet owners using the devices to play social games.  If people turn their tablets into gaming consoles and only use their gaming consoles to watch Netflix, what’s next for the television set?

Infographic: Social Games on Facebook and Google+ What makes them so popular? created by Prism Online Casino

Image by Cienpies Design by Shutterstock.