而据游戏邦了解，此前Inside Social Games则针对15款热门Facebook游戏整体月活跃用户持续下滑的现象进行分析后，认为市场对社交游戏领域的热情有所减缓。其中还特别指出，该15款Facebook游戏的月活跃用户在2010年9月至12月期间持续下滑，同比2009年12月也呈现明显下降。在此，eMarketer认为Inside Social Games的预测并不符合目前社交游戏产业的发展趋势。
在本次研究中，eMarketer通过Trendstream/Lightspeed Research, BlogHer/iVillage, Newzoo BV, Ipsos OTX MediaCT, ThinkEquity, TrustE和NPD Group等多种渠道收集有关数据。与之相比，之前的Inside Social Games则至侧重于收集某几款游戏的全球活跃用户数据，并没有考虑其中的游戏叠加问题。此外，eMarketer的预测数据也比Inside Social Games的相对保守。
据eMarketer预计，社交游戏领域的下降趋势只限于少数几款Facebook热门游戏，这部分热门游戏占有社交游戏领域近3/4的流量。另外，Inside Social Games指出的9月开始用户下滑与Facebook社交网站的通告政策变化有直接联系。据游戏邦了解，自今年9月起Facebook社交网站开始限制社交游戏玩家的游戏通告渠道。此前，所有Facebook用户都可以收到来自好友的社交游戏活动通告，这也是Facebook游戏病毒式传播的一种方式。
Social gamers in US are expected to grow by 29.5 percent i.e. from 53 million in 2010 to 68.7 million in 2012, according to eMarketers. This growth will eventually result in 29 percent of the Internet population in the US playing social games by 2012. eMarketers estimates that the growth pattern of the social gaming industry will remain in place for at least next two years.
eMarketer has made an extensive effort to outline why Inside Social Games (ISG) report citing a decrease in interest in Social Gaming might not be accurately representing the state of the industry.Inside Social Games reported that the cumulative monthly active users among the top 15 games on Facebook have dropped recently. ISG’s result shows month-to-month drops from September to December 2010, as well as an annual decrease from December 2009 to December 2009.
eMarketer collects data from a variety of sources such as Trendstream/Lightspeed Research, BlogHer/iVillage, Newzoo BV, Ipsos OTX MediaCT, ThinkEquity, TrustE, NPD Group, as compared to Inside Social Games which only collects data of global active users on a game-specific basis per month without even considering the overlap among games. In addition to this, the estimation figures of eMarketers are more conservative.
According to eMarketer estimates, the downward trend index was limited to only the top games on Facebook, accounting for three-fourth of the social gaming traffic. Further, It won’t be wrong to assume that the drops starting in September might have been a direct effect of changes in Facebook’s notification policies. Facebook started limiting game notifications to users who already played games. Previously, all users received notification of their friends’ social gaming activities, resulting in viral spread of the games.
Keeping above cautions in mind, eMarketer has concluded that the Social Games data is not a sign of decreasing interest. Nevertheless, even eMarketers estimations show growth in social gaming at a slower pace than what has been seen in the past two years. （Source：Socialtimes）