Over the last year there has been a significant shift in the games industry bought about by the evolution of mobile gaming and the introduction of social networking. Social games have become the fastest growing media sector today. Social games are still in their infancy however and will evolve over the coming years. One of the most important social mechanics revolves around challenges where players compete with each other for a range of awards. Awards can be as simple as badges, achievements, leaderboards and outright bragging rights – and they can be for prizes with varying degrees of value. Whatever the prize, the activity that will drive the most social interaction round games will be tied to challenges.
The area of challenges is fraught with difficulty however. Existing challenge functionality is cumbersome and does not work all of the time. Often invites or challenges do not appear as they are supposed to. The user experience leaves a lot to be desired and there is considerable improvement to be realised in this area. Social engagement, in general, is limited by walled gardens and lack of cross platform functionality. Once these problems are alleviated the true social explosion of games can take place.
GameSparks offers a truly cross-platform inter-game messaging solution that enables social mechanics to function across platforms agnostically. We integrate natively with each of the mobile platforms and present a platform-independent messaging solution to games developers. Our expertise is around social mechanics and how they are applied to games. In particular we are focussed on challenges and enabling this fundamental social engagement to take route in games and become the cornerstone of mobile gaming and in so doing open up a significant new revenue channel for games developers and publishers alike.
In order for challenges to have the positive impact on revenues for games developers, they must extend to allowing people to wager against each other for real money. Real money wagering falls under gaming legislation which is highly regulated and to-date has been the domain of the gambling industry. GameSparks embraces regulation and provides real-money challenging capability to our games developers so that they can exploit this opportunity for significant new revenue without having to go through these legislative hurdles themselves.