Facebook. It’s a word that (maybe) strikes fear into the hearts of millions across the world. “No!” such people cry in their sleep. “No more app invites! I don’t care! I don’t want to play, do you hear me? No… stop sharing pictures of kittens and babies that you find funny… my sense of humour is different, superior… don’t care if you went to the park at the weekend, not interested in your photos… if I don’t ask you about something, don’t tell me.” You know, something like that.
Bottom line is this: Zuckerberg’s empire has announced that it’s now frighteningly close to having a billion human beings in its clutches. 955 million, to be exact (and in case you were wondering, that’s “active users”). Why should we all, as gamers, care? Well first of all, the industry is depressingly obsessed with numbers. For proof, see Irrational’s recent job ad that demands applicants have worked on at least one game with a Metacritic average of at least 85%. That means that more money than ever will be poured into Facebook games and – of course – advertising.
In fact, EA have today also come out with some Facebook-related news, in that it believes its Facebook advertising (which cost the company $2.75 million) for Battlefield 3 resulted in $12.1 million of sales – a return of 440%. EA has thus far failed to provide the rather important explanation of how on earth it’s decided that this is the case; but this announcement, coupled with Facebook’s own talk of nearly a billion users, means that publishers (not just EA) will be lining up to tip more of their money into the social networking hole than ever. Look forward to lots more Facebook gaming ads and tie-in apps over the next few years, kids!
In fact, isn’t it strange how EA’s announcement is all over the gaming press the same day as Facebook ‘s boasting of better-than-expected profits and huge user numbers? Almost as if there had been some collusion between the two. Almost.