He also noted that the company’s games like Pet Society and Restaurant City are updated once a week “reacting to players and testing that sense of the game being alive. It keeps people there and when we launch new features they will tell you right away if they like it or not.”
Mr Segerstrale also noticed that this frequent interaction with players means the company is able to understand their likes and dislikes better.
“We are developing a long-term relationship with a specific user and that means if someone is a hardcore Pet Society player, chances are we shouldn’t push Gangster City at them.”
Mr Perry saw the value in that and seemed to suggest that, in the future, perhaps Facebook will need social gaming more than social gaming will need Facebook.
“The thing is you are now building on a platform and your platform is your community. That is why you will survive.”
From: "Spotlighting social gaming — World's Geekiest Dad | World's Geekiest Dad."
I was speaking with a venture capitalist last week about the social gaming for health space.
The ability to move fast, listen to users, and adapt quickly by releasing new features (or ruthlessly pruning ones that don't work) is one reason why larger, entrenched companies are hesitant to give up choice and control and allow 2 way challenges.
Even the most advanced, forward-thinking health insurers and medication reminder groups I know are still thinking that 'prescriptive' challenges issued by an authority figure - like your doc or a disease management nurse paid to give you a call to see if you're taking your pills - is the ideal way to go.
At Contagion, we think that's a bunch of bunk. The people who know you best - friends and family - these are the people who can provide the motivational support, in real time, that we need to make healthier daily microchoices.
Programming for contagious wellness is the only way to go, but it means you've got to:
1. Be willing to give choice and control BACK to your users;
2. Admit early when your assumptions are wrong;
3. Recognize quickly when you've baked in your own biases to platform design;
4. Move quickly to do all of the above.
Community Managers become vital 'software' in social gaming startups for precisely these reasons. The human machine/human code interactions are only one piece of the puzzle.
Being an active part of your community is another (this will, luckily, be a default if you build something to solve one of your own problems).
Health insurers, how many of you USE your own wellness portals on a weekly basis? If you haven't built something you want to use, what makes you think we will?