Social game makers to see 'massive layoffs' in 2012 (except for Zynga)


That is, if you listen to doomsayers analysts like Exent's head of content programming Rick Marazzani. IndustryGamers reports that Marazzani predicts that 2012 will see the social games space thin out as a result of Zynga's meteoric rise to dominance. According to him, downsizing at companies like RockYou and Playfirst is just the beginning of a terrible time for social games.

"With multiple hit games and big marketing budgets needed to stay afloat at the top of the Facebook game charts, many social publishers simply weathered 2011 waiting to see what Zynga's IPO would foretell for their own futures," Marazzani said. "Faced with the reality that there are too many people working on too many games for the market to bear, social developers will be forced to place smarter (and fewer) bets as user acquisition cost and competition grows. The result will be more belt tightening along the lines of developer RockYou (ZooWorld), who shed 40% of its staff in late 2011."

In other words, the social game craze is going to die down come next year, and with it so will hopeful game developers' salaries. Marazzani made the prediction within a series of projections for the future of gaming issued by Exent, a provider of games on demand services. The company's other educated guesses include that Android tablet gaming is going to take off, a renaissance in location-based mobile gaming and more. But you've got to wonder, prediction or not, how the little guys will continue to survive underneath the cold shadows of Zynga, EA and wooga.

Do you think smaller social game creators are doomed come 2012? How will independent social game companies continue to survive on Facebook? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

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