Farmville Screen ShotThe next generation of online games may not be about strategies or farming, unless you're thinking of strategies or farming that apply to narrow audiences. Organic farming, maybe. Citing publishers such as Kabam, which recently launched Kingdoms of Camelot, and Kixeye, the publisher behind Backyard Monsters, the research firm SuperData says the next evolutionary step is the targeting of specific audience segments rather than developing games for sheer scale.
Richer, more compelling content, while more expensive to develop, will pay off long-term as gamers stay on longer, and spend more. After its initial growth spurt in the past 18 months, the social games market has begun to stabilize. And, consequently, a growing number of developers and publishers will shift their focus to more niche-focused game genres.
SuperData estimates that the North American social gaming market will be worth $1.8 billion by the end of this year, and the worldwide market, including  mobile, will hit $13 billion in 2015.

Changing Behaviors?

How users interact with social games may be changing. The American social gamer spent an average $37.59 in April, down from $45.58 a year ealier. At the same time, they were more comfortable spending money inside free-to-play games (something our Dawn Kawamoto gleaned from GameStop's earnings report). But developing digital goods has its pitfalls. Facebook and Apple have been sued over parents' claims that their kids can run up huge tabs without their knowledge, and they don’t want to get stuck with the bill.

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