Facebook isn’t the only platform where social games are booming. Revenue from non-Facebook social games is expected to grow from the current amount of $3.2 billion to $5.6 billion by 2014, according to estimates released today by social app platform Viximo and SuperData Research.
The study could be biased because it was released by Viximo, which has a vested interest in making social games grow outside of Facebook. However, the study is backed up by some hard data and was conducted by SuperData, which came up with the estimate by surveying 774,158 unique transactions by 152,159 individuals in social games for the six months ending June 1, 2011.
The study found that while Asia is the largest social games market, non-Facebook platforms in Western markets will be responsible for nearly one quarter of worldwide social gaming within the next three years. Despite Facebook’s apparent dominance, it only represents about a third of worldwide traffic for social networks. While Facebook leads in the U.S., the majority of social gaming revenue is made on other platforms, particularly overseas.
Key social game markets Brazil, Germany, Russia and Turkey are seeing huge growth in non-Facebook social gaming traffic. Developers who target those markets can see good distribution, strong monetization, and lower costs for acquiring new customers.
“The social web beyond Facebook is often overlooked when it comes to games and applications. As it turns out, social networks beyond Facebook represent a non-trivial — in fact, significant — and fertile ground for games and apps,” said Dale Strang, chief executive of Viximo. “What we uncovered with this study was just how quickly non-Facebook social gaming is exploding around the world, giving game-makers a terrific opportunity to reach new audiences and generate new revenue.”
The total social game market, including Facebook, is expected to reach $8.6 billion by the end of 2014 (not counting ad revenue). Asia will account for about $2 billion total revenue for 2011, but South America and Western and Eastern Europe are growing at very fast rates. Russia has 35 million users of social games and Brazil has 32.6 million. Germany is generating the most social gaming revenue in Europe with more than $173 million in expected revenue this year. That is expected to reach $250 million by 2014.
Among the large regional networks are Hyves in the Netherlands, Tuenti in Spain, StudiVZ in German, and Badoo in the United Kingdom. Google+ is also expected to provide a solid platform for social games outside of Facebook. Viximo’s platform for games and apps reaches more than 150 million users across a variety of social networks.