从FarmVille 到 Mumbai Underworld（孟买黑社会），游戏开发商们在印度将社交网络作为推广游戏的手段。
Games2Win 公司的合作伙伴 Alok Kejriwal将它的目标市场转变成标准的社交游戏玩家，显示了她怎样将FarmVille的礼物转到社交网络Facebook上。现在，60的人也会为她FarmVille的朋友花费现实中的钱购买该游戏中虚拟的礼物。
事实上，社交类游戏——和一群朋友在社交网络上玩的休闲游戏，将会在印度5.2千万的网络用户中变成最受欢迎的应用程序。这将带动印度本地游戏公司带着它们得意的网点（诸如Zapak、 Indiagames 和 Games2Win）进入社交网络领域。
在印度本地名为ibibo.com的网站里，大约有20万用户在玩一款同Ajay Devgn 和 Emraan Hashmi一起，名为 Mumbai Underworld的休闲游戏。该游戏允许玩家通过购买地产、道具来建立一个刑事帝国并以此赚钱来购买更加高级的道具。网站宣称到目前为止，已经有超过6万的用户陆陆续续玩Ajay Devgn 版的Mumbai Underworld 了。
所以，无论是一款像“Biggest Brain”那样的智力游戏，像“Texas Hold ‘Em’”的牌类游戏，还是像一款你可以像买卖宠物那样对待你朋友的名为“Friends for Sale”的游戏，社交网络中有许多免费诸如此类容易玩的游戏，同时还为那些喜欢超级难度的玩家准备了额外的版本。
今年6月份，Zapak在Facebook上发布了包括30款游戏的应用程序，而今天已经发展到了70款。目前，有超过5.5万的游戏玩家在玩Zapak发布在Facebook上的游戏。“并且我们发现这一数据在八月份已经变成了10万” Zapak信息娱乐部CEO Rohit Sharma如是说。
Games2Win公司的Kejriwal 和 Zapak公司的 Sharma相信社交游戏社交游戏在女性中已经变得非常受欢迎。“各个年龄段的女性都在玩游戏，并且他们更乐于（较之男性）为游戏中的道具付费” Sharma说。
一名叫Madhusmita Roul的来自奥里萨邦的银行职员，同时也是社交游戏铁杆玩家似乎同意Kejriwal 和 Sharma的观点。“社交游戏是会让人入迷的，我会一整晚都在社交网络上同我的朋友玩游戏。我们中的某个人会通关并可以收集到一些特定的物品来换取礼物。其余的人可以通过点击我在网络上的信息板来获得。”她说到。
为了吸引男性玩家，Games2Win已经在Facebook上发布一款叫Junkyard Mayhem的游戏，并且该游戏很快也可以在其他的社交网络上使用（如Orkut、 Hi5等等）。除此之外，该游戏还会有属于自己的网站（junkyardmayhem.com）。
与此同时，Zapak也为印度的玩家带来了6waves公司发行的所有游戏，包括全球点击超过5百万的Mall World。“Zapak将整合所有本地的支付方式，比如信用卡、网上银行、Zapak微章等等来为他们在印度的游戏道具的支付提供便利” Sharma说。
为了帮助玩家们迅速开始，Facebook免费赠送了一些上面有少量积分信用卡（比如20点）。玩家可以通过玩Facebook上的Interview Me 和Pick a Friend这两款游戏来免费赚取积分。这些积分能转化成游戏的积分并可用于购买礼物、虚拟宠物和游戏武器等等。
玩家也可以通过信用卡直接购买。但是，考虑到印度的很多学生没有信用卡，该网站发布了一个可以通过移动电话购买积分的系统。“上个月，我的手机还剩一些余额但我想把它花光，所以，我花了50块为Barn Buddy这款游戏购买了200点Facebook积分。我只需发送一个SMS，之后它会连接到我的服务器提供商- Airtel，这样我就可以购得积分并用来买虚拟动物”来自加尔各答的以往叫Anushree Sharma Kharkia的主妇高兴的说。
From ‘FarmVille’ to ‘Mumbai Underworld’, game developers see social networks as the way to drive games in India…
All it took Games2Win co-founder Alok Kejriwal to turn his mother into a regular social gamer was showing her how to send ‘FarmVille’ gifts over the social networking site Facebook. Now, the 60-year-old regularly pays real money to buy “virtual gifts” for her FarmVille buddies.
Available as an application on Facebook, FarmVille is a real-time farm simulation game that allows members to manage a virtual farm by planting, growing and harvesting virtual crops and trees,
and raising even livestock. It has become a smash hit in the cyber space.
Indeed, social games — casual games that are played on social networking sites with a group of friends — are fast becoming the most used online apps among the 52 million internet subscribers in India. And, this has brought domestic game companies with their own popular portals, like Zapak, Indiagames and Games2Win, into the social networking scene.
Industry players, in fact, believe social gaming will be one of the key drivers for growth of gaming in India. At present, of the over 12 million Indians on Facebook, about seven million reportedly play social games. Globally, at least half of the 50 million Facebook users (expected to rise) are likely to pick up on social games within two years.
On ibibo.com, a homegrown social networking site, about 200,000 users have played ‘Mumbai Underworld’, a casual online game with Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi. The game allows users to build a criminal empire by buying properties and making cash from it to buy even higher level properties. So far, over 60,000 followers have played Mumbai Underworld with Ajay Devgn, claims the website.
So, whether it’s a brain game like ‘Biggest Brain’, a card game like ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ or a game called ‘Friends for Sale’ where you buy and sell your friends as if they were pets — social networks have hundreds of easy-to-play applications for free, or premium versions for the die-hard fans.
Zapak, which has over seven million registered gamers on its gaming site, could not resist the temptation of social games. It recently joined hands with 6waves, an international publisher and developer of gaming applications on the Facebook platform. In this tie-up, Zapak will be the marketing and payment partner for 6waves’ games in India.
In June this year, Zapak launched its gaming application on Facebook with 30 games. This has grown to 70 games today. At present, there are over 55,000 gamers playing Zapak games on Facebook. “And we see this number growing to 100,000 active users by the end of August,” says Zapak Digital Entertainment CEO Rohit Sharma.
Games2Win’s Kejriwal and Zapak’s Sharma believe social games have become very popular among female gamers, too. “Women across ages are playing games and are more likely to spend money to buy in-game items,” says Sharma.
Games2Win sharpened its strategy for women gamers after Kejriwal realised they could spend ’150-250 buying virtual gifts or game items. The website, which has two such social games on Facebook and will add four more titles this year, is preparing to launch games that will target specific age groups, like young teenagers and housewives.
“As a business model, social games extend our move towards consumer revenue generation that scales massively and has very high profit margins,” underlines Kejriwal.
Madhusmita Roul, a banking professional from Orissa and a regular social gamer, seems to agree with both Kejriwal and Sharma. “Social games are addictive. I have stayed up all night playing games with my friends on social networking sites. One of us would cross levels and collect certain things to buy a gift. And the other would claim it from clicking on my wall (the message board on social networking sites),” she says.
In an attempt to attract male gamers, Games2Win has launched ‘Junkyard Mayhem’ on Facebook and this will soon be available on other social networks (Orkut, Hi5, etc). The game will have its own destination website (junkyardmayhem.com) as well.
Meanwhile, Zapak, too, is bringing all 6waves games to Indian users, including global hits like ‘Mall World’ with over five million users. “Zapak will integrate all local payment options like credit cards, net banking, Zapak pins, etc, to facilitate item purchases for their games in India,” informs Sharma.
A promotional push
To help gamers start off, Facebook gives some free credits — a nominal amount like 20 credit points. Gamers can also pocket some free points over games like ‘Interview Me’ and ‘Pick a Friend’ on Facebook. These points can be converted into game credits and used to buy gifts, virtual pets, game weaponry, etc.
One can also buy these through credit cards. But, considering most students in India do not have a credit card, the site has come out with the system to buy credits through mobile phones.
“Last month, I had balance left on my phone that I wanted to use up. So, with ’50, I bought 200 Facebook credits for ‘Barn Buddy’. All I had to do was send an SMS and they contacted my
service provider, Airtel, and I got the credits to buy animals,” highlights Anushree Sharma Kharkia, a homemaker from Kolkata.
There’s no denying that a major chunk of social gamers continues to play without paying, but a sizable minority purchases virtual goods and other in-game content. And that’s a “healthy” margin business for the gaming industry as social games take just about four-eight weeks to develop a minimal investment, compared to other forms of games like console or PC titles.
The fact that social games are making it easy for people to socialise with friends and play against them, all on one page, is what makes them endearing to the masses.(source:business-standard)