Denis Dyack: Social Games Market Will Crash Hard

May 11, 2011 -

In a recent interview with IndustryGamers Silicon Knights front man Denis Dyack said that that the social games market will crash very hard. Dyack admits that current social gaming trends are adversely affecting the traditional games market, but will eventually see "a rapid contraction."

"It is damaging traditional gaming for sure but... how it's going to work out is anyone's guess," he said to IndustryGamers. "The trend that I see is it's probably going to be one of the biggest bubbles and explosions that our industry's seen in a long time and I think when it crashes it's going to crash very hard. I don't think there's an economy there."

When asked specifically about Zynga - currently valued at upwards of $10 billion - his comments were less sure but just as disparaging:

"I don't know about Zynga – I think that's a big micro, but I think that the amount of venture that's being poured in, in general, that's most of the video game industry investment. As far as I know right now, it's going into pure social gaming. It looks like marketing to me. It doesn't look like real gaming. And maybe it'll change, I don't know. It looks very, very dangerous.

"I think Zynga's valuated more than some traditional publishers right now that have been in the industry for decades. I'm sorry, but I just don't see it. It seems imaginary to me... it doesn't look long term healthy to me," he added.

Dyack went on to say that traditional publishers like Activision are wary of throwing in too heavily into mobile and social game markets:

"I think there are a lot of publishers out there that don't agree with it and they just haven't spoken about it. I don't see Nintendo going into that space, as an example. There are a lot of publishers that I don't see going into that space. And, you know, EA is one of the few that's [embraced social]."

Source: GI.biz


Comments

Re: Denis Dyack: Social Games Market Will Crash Hard

Social Games are similar to sitcoms. Lots of people like them, somewhat. It's casual gaming at it's extreme. More social even than 'game'. Similar to a sitcom - people watch, discuss, etc.

Console and PC games are more similar to a mini-series or a full length movie, maybe more than that even i nsome games - perhaps akin to a movie series such as Star Wars, Star Trek, or Harry Potter; attracting a loyal following, some more than others.

I think the social gaming will level out, but it's not going anywhere.

This next generation - the teens of today and young 20's are much more in-tune to gaming than TV. Of my son's friends, they come over and when doing something inside - maybe 10% of the time, they'll watch a movie the rest - they are gaming.

I'd say half the people I know on facebook are social gamers. As long as new content is coming out, they'll stay interested. Aunt Bee might quit playing, but Uncle Ted will start.

I'm a PC gamer - I've never spent a dime on any social games; although on occasion I'll play Roulette online, I'm not into Farmville or the fish tank things, but I do spend on PC games.That being said - yes, EA has done a good job.

Now after you register your games - you can re-download if needed. There are somethings about EA that bug me, but overall - they are doing the best job. The EA downloader is no where near as problematic as Steam and it doesn't *require* a connection to play, or setting it to offline mode prior to disconnecting. Plus EA lets you install games to the locations that you want to install them to - not nested under 8 folders, that just makes modding a pain.

Re: Denis Dyack: Social Games Market Will Crash Hard

Why should anyone listen to Dennis Dyack?  The man has repeatedly demonstrated a questionable grip on reality.  Again, listen to his appearance on the 1up Yours podcast and you will hear the rambling of a crazy person.

Re: Denis Dyack: Social Games Market Will Crash Hard

I HOPE he's right.

I THINK he's wrong.

What's basically going on with social games (and crappy iPod games for that matter) vs. the major consoles is the same deal that when down when TV came out, and the major movie mogols went nuts.

Low quality with easy access. Mainstream's finally getting into it, but on a different level. And the major developers (and fans) are worried it's going to kill their medium. It won't, but it will alter it, and we have to be prepared.

Times, They Are a'Changin'.

Re: Denis Dyack: Social Games Market Will Crash Hard

He probably has a point.

This has nothing to do with the value of social games or their continuation as a genre... it is the VC and other investments being poured into a market that probably doesn't have the growth potential to support that much capitial flowing in.

I imagine we will see a collapse,... with a few major groups surviving:

(1) Big players with enough revenue and capital on hand to weather the exodus of investment

(2) Small niche players that stuck to within thier means and have solid followings

(3) Hobbists with little cost outlay.

Investers are a skittish lot, often pouring too much money into markets they don't actually know anything about because they are being told the market is hot, and being just as arbitrary when they yank funding away or demand immediate (sometimes crippling) profits from companies still building a brand (at which point the brand gets watered down and ruined by seeking short term large paybacks at the cost of long term smaller stablity).

It will be amusing to watch.

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