Take a close look at Social Gaming Network’s story, and you will see how social games are evolving away from a focus on Facebook-only games. SGN is rising as a multiplatform social game developer, while Facebook-focused Zynga has been declining. SGN is even hiring the talent that was laid off by Zynga.
SGN can apparently make more money with Mob Science than Zynga can. SGN said it can value Mob Science so highly due to SGN’s development of cross-platform game technology MasterKey, adding that it has a long history of distributing games on mobile, while Zynga is often criticized for missing the shift toward mobile games.
Who Is Social Gaming Network?
SGN is a cross platform mobile social game developer. It is large, fast-growing, and profitable. SGN’s recent successes show that the social games industry is moving past its early focus on Facebook-only games.
The company is a huge social games startup, with more than $50 million in revenue and over 90 employees. SGN doubles in size every year. Its growth initially came from company acquisitions. However, SGN doubled revenues in 2012 using only its existing titles and in-house-developed games. This is sustainable growth: SGN reports that it saw its highest revenue and largest user growth in May, adding that its focus is on operating profitably, and its growth has been profitable since the beginning.
SGN distributes its game titles across all platforms (iOS, Android, Facebook, and Amazon). It uses the Facebook platform and login with Facebook as the social glue that connects its games and game players across all platforms. SGN makes money through the sale of virtual goods, as well as some advertising. Its game franchises include Panda Jam and Bingo Blingo. SGN is known for its strong focus on analytics driven monetization.
Chris DeWolfe, Founder of MySpace, started SGN with a team of early MySpace employees. The company’s vision is to build a social games powerhouse that operates profitable games across all mobile platforms. The SGN team raised a significant amount of venture capital from Austin Ventures to pursue a “company roll-up strategy” in the social games space, where it acquires game studios that fit within its mobile social game portfolio.
Mob Science is the latest step in SGN’s social games roll-up strategy.
Who Is Mob Science?
Mob Science is a Facebook games developer with 50 million installs. It describes its games as “mid-core social games.” The developer is best known for Legends: Rise of a Hero, a Facebook-based role playing game, and it has 11 other Facebook games in its portfolio.
The company has 11 employees, and its team has 75 years of social game development experience. It has a laid-back, Southern California culture. Its chief technology officer goes surfing every day.
Mob Science was founded in 2008, and it received a $1 million investment last year. Its acquisition by SGN shows the potential for angel and early stage investments in social games.
Why Did SGN Acquire Mob Science?
SGN Chief Operating Officer Josh Yguado told AllFacebook in an interview:
SGN acquired Mob Science for the quality of its games and the depth of its talent. Mob Science is a legitimate, time-tested studio. It has grown every year, and it is profitable, just like SGN. When we met the team, we just clicked. They are amazing guys, and they have the same analytics-driven approach to developing games. Mob Science makes smart decisions about what games to make and how to make them. It understands the importance of profitability and how to achieve it. We are excited that its team will be joining SGN.
SGN’s MasterKey Technology
SGN will apply its MasterKey cross-platform game technology to Mob Science’s portfolio of Facebook games. MasterKey allows Facebook games to be quickly deployed by SGN to other platforms, and it allows SGN game players to play in real time with friends across platforms — and to bring their gamer profiles and points with them, regardless of which devices they are currently using to play with friends.
SGN hopes that this multiplatform monetization will create a lot of revenue when applied to Mob Science’s Facebook games portfolio.
Is Cross-Platform The Future Of Social Gaming?
Will SGN’s monetization bet on Mob Science work out? SGN’s total installs will increase from 300 million to 350 million with the acquisition. We will see if SGN’s monetization increases as well, as it brings Legends: Rise of a Hero to other platforms.
If SGN’s strategy works, there is no doubt that Zynga and others in the industry will follow the cross-platform path being blazed by SGN.
Readers: Are Facebook-only games a thing of the past?