Over the past 5 years, we have seen immense technological advancements on the internet. There have been huge changes to the way a visitor interacts with a website and pages. These technological aspects gave birth to the social factor on the internet. Websites started enabling the users to socialize with one another. In the last couple of years, there has been a revolution of sorts w.r.t Social networking websites. Orkut, Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are all incredible websites that have brought people closer to one another, even if they are millions of miles away from each other, physically.
The Gaming industry on the other hand has seen a revolution of its own. Millions of new games are being made each year, one trying to outsmart the other in terms of popularity and technology. There are dedicated gaming clans, huge fan following and even dedicated discussion forums and sites dedicated to gaming. The Gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar gaming industry in itself. What happens when you combine the two above? You get Social Gaming. Social gaming is a new genre of gaming which adds the ‘Social’ factor to the games. True, multiplayer games have been played since a long time, but there is hardly any ‘social’ factor to it. Imagine sitting with your family on a Sunday afternoon, and everyone decides to game. No, not the warfare kind. The one where everyone gets to take part, collaborate with one another or simply play against each other. Such gaming is more focused on the family ties.Business Standard caught up with Atindriya Bose, country manager for Sony Computer Entertainment, who is quoted as saying:
Keeping the Indian mindset in view, games are now being localised to suit Indian tastes. This has led to social gaming, where a family enjoys as much as the individual. Games like Singstar Bollywood are very popular and a lot of PC gamers are looking on them as a serious hobby. To cash in on this, software for PlayStation2 and PlayStationPortable (PSP) has been replicated and are now available for upwards of Rs 499 and Rs 999 respectively. We have already signed up Aurona Technologies for an India-specific social game Hanuman.
SONY has already come out with three games targeted to the Indian Users, viz. Singstar Bollywood, Eye Toy and Buzz! The Maha Quiz game.So would you play along with the Social Factor, if bundled along with a game? Or would you rather like it old school ?
Social gaming, if marketed well, can capture a sizable part of the market. We are already seeing people spending more time playing casual games on the Internet. The rise of websites like Zapak, Games2Win all point towards this. Apart from this, millions of profiles on Orkut also point towards increasing affinity for the netizens to socialize more and more. In Indian, context, Social Gaming can be a fun concept. Anyone heard or seen anything like this before? Please share with us.