Dutch-based social networking site Hyves, which has a majority share of users in Holland, has announced plans to transform its site into a game portal in partnership with game developer Spil games. The news was reported by the Dutch Daily News, and while details are slim, this represents another social network turning to games to keep its users from defecting to Facebook.
The new games portal will allow players to earn points and high scores, and challenge their friends. There are 300 games currently available for the new games portal, and game developers Spil games plan to add more soon. Spil games is a series of casual games destinations, and seem to have a technology to quickly and easily build a games portal that serves a multitude of games. While it hasn’t been announced, I speculate that Spil will help build a games platform that will allow Hyves to ask external developers to create games for the platform. Details of the revenue model have been slim, but it has been confirmed that the new portal will use advertising and microtransactions. According to Spil, their statistics are:
- Popularity: 115 million unique visitors per month
- Tons of Content: 45 websites with over 4,000 free online games
- Diversity:17 languages
This marks yet another social network turning to games, as Bebo, Hi5 and Tagged recently made similar moves. Specifically, hi5 acquired Big Six Games and now features them prominently, and have stated that they’re shifting their focus to games. Bebo rebranded themselves as a social gaming platform before being disbanded earlier this year. Tagged and sites like Quepasa are doing similar things. MySpace also made announcements that they would make their platform friendlier for games early last year, although not much has come out of that. The point is that these sites are simultaneously realizing that games are driving traffic, but also that people are leaving their networks for Facebook, so they’re adapting their strategies to change course.