When I wrote the feature article, The Social Network Game Boom, for Gamasutra, in 2009, I guess it was so early that the editor had to add that the potential of social games to dominate the market was "according to her." I had been lucky enough to have been there at the beginning of social gaming (even witnessing it firsthand in China!) and I was also there at the debatable end, as social game companies shifted their focus to mobile gaming.
I worked at several social gaming companies. They all faced inevitable change in the market and strove to make that shift from Facebook/Web to iPhone/tablet games. Of course, no one wants to be at the tail end of a trend. After 20 restaurant Diner Dash type games in the marketplace, is the 21st going to be any better? Even with the short production cycles for social and mobile games, companies wanted to do some trend forecasting so that they didn't end up with last season's now-boring flash-in-the-pan. The business people had meetings to decide if 9 months from now, would a girl-centered shopping game do any better than a vampire-themed shooter? They were trying to forecast trends and "likes."
This month, I'd welcome articles about the science or intuition of forecasting trends and also any trends that you've noticed in our industry. What changes do you think will impact us in the future?
If you would like to submit an article, please read the submission guidelines to the right first. Thanks!