EA Interactive（EA社交，手机和在线业务分部）主管Barry Cottle说道：“品牌是商业运营中不可或缺的重要部分。早前，在传统游戏市场中，原创游戏更能吸引玩家的注意。也就是说你必须制造出一款优秀的游戏才有机会取得成功。这是关键因素。但是现在，随着玩家的品牌意识逐渐加强，品牌游戏更能够挽留住玩家。”
而社交游戏巨头Zynga原先似乎并不乐衷于开发品牌游戏。但是首席商务官Owen Van Natta却表示，Zynga抓住了机会与卢卡斯影业的合作机会，于10月份将《夺宝奇兵》中的人物角色印第安那琼斯加入到最新游戏《Adventure World》中，以更好地进行游戏推广。虽然这笔交易是在《Adventure World》发布后才达成的，但是久而久之将帮助这款游戏吸引更多玩家的注意。
Van Natta说道：“印第安那琼斯对我们来说是一个机遇。对于过去我们在Facebook上的品牌游戏的迅速发展我感到非常惊讶。”Zynga同时也在利用各种电影，甚至是与歌手Lady Ggaga在《FarmVille》进行品牌营销等手段进行合作。
Playdom首席执行官John Pleasants说道，在两个月之前，迪士尼也通过推出《Gnome Town》而见识到了品牌游戏的威力。这款游戏在刚发行时就获得了50万的日活跃用户，随后，迪士尼将其重新命名为《Disney Gnome Town》，这款游戏的成绩是更上一层楼了，而用户也愿意花更多钱于游戏上了，因为他们甚是相信“迪士尼”这个响当当的招牌。
Brands finally succeed in social games on Facebook
Facebook gamers are finally embracing well-known brands in their social games. That’s one of the conclusions from a panel on social games at the f8 conference for Facebook developers yesterday.
Sean Ryan (pictured left), director of game partnerships, pointed out that Facebook as a gaming platform has evolved from a place where original game ideas initially prospered. Now that there are 800 million users on the social network, it’s only natural for brands to take over, he said. Gamers can gravitate to them because they can pick up a game already knowing the narrative behind it, making the game much easier to learn.
For a time, Facebook was resistant to brands. Friends shared games that they found to be fun, and in the early days, Zynga dominated the market. That turned into a huge advantage for Zynga, and its distribution power now allows it to launch original titles that can succeed in part because they can be cross-promoted to so many of Zynga’s existing users. The same is true with the iPhone, where original titles such as Koi Pond drew a lot of attention at first but where plenty of brands such as Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies, and Uno in the top charts.
What was unusual about Facebook is that non-branded games held onto the top rankings on the popularity charts for a longer time than usual, largely because of the power of friend recommendations on the platform. Many game companies tried to launch branded games on Facebook and it was like hitting their heads against brick walls.
But this year, that is beginning to change. The biggest proof is The Sims Social, a Facebook game from Electronic Arts that taps the Sims franchise, which has sold more than 100 million units on the PCs and consoles. The Sims Social is now the No. 2 game on Facebook, with 53 million monthly active users, second only to Zynga’s Cityville. In turn, the Sims Social is helping other branded EA games catch on.
“Brands are an important part of the business,” said Barry Cottle (pictured left), head of EA Interactive, the social, mobile and online division of EA. “Early on, in traditional gaming markets, original intellectual property caught on. At the core, you always have to have a great game. That’s a core ingredient. But brands give the ability to be recognized, to tap into loyalty.”
Within six weeks, the Sims Social hit 10 million users without much advertising at all, mainly because it has been known for a decade, Cottle said.
“People coalesce around things they recognize,” Cottle said
Zynga has mostly stayed away from brands. But the company took advantage of a chance to get a license with Lucasfilm for its Adventure World game, Owen Van Natta (pictured right), chief business officer at Zynga, said. By October, the film character Indiana Jones will be integrated into the game. That deal came after the game launched, but it could help the game get wider awareness over time.
“Indiana Jones was an opportunistic thing,” Van Natta said. “I’m amazed at how we were able to create brands quickly on Facebook.” Zynga also has run promotions with a variety of movies and with the singer Lady Gaga in its FarmVille game.
We ran our own feature story recently on startup Iconicfuture, which has created a marketplace so that brands can license their properties in a matchmaking service with game companies that want to license them.
Kabam also jumped into the branded-game business by acquiring the rights to the Godfather for Facebook. But he said the game evolved when the company decided to create a crime game, said Kevin Chou (pictured left), chief executive of Kabam, a maker of mostly original hardcore social games on Facebook.
Kabam figured out the core fun mechanics in the title, and then looked around for a narrative that could become the overarching back story for the game. The Godfather made a lot of sense, and Kabam was already talking to Paramount Pictures about a license.
“You have to start with the core game,” Chou said.
Disney tested the power of a brand with a title called Gnome Town, launched two months ago, said John Pleasants (pictured right), head of Disney Interactive and Playdom. That title did OK at first, getting 500,000 daily active users, but then Disney renamed it Disney Gnome Town. The result was that the cost of acquisition, such as advertising a game, dropped by a third as the game took off more on its own. Users were also more likely to spend money in the game, since they trusted the Disney name.
Disney also launched a couple of ESPN-branded games, where it was able to advertise the games on TV using remnant (unsold ads). The result was that the users who came in from the TV commercial had a much higher “lifetime value,” or spending on the game over the course of the game’s life. That was because those users were much more loyal to the ESPN brand. During 2012, Pleasants said Disney will come out with two to four major Disney brands as social game properties.
“We think it’s an advantage, if you put game play first,” Pleasants said.（source:venturebeat）