One of the key points to come out of the User Generated Games Panel at the Social Gaming Summit in San Francisco is that users never cease to amaze. Core to this space is the concept of group intelligence: users watch what others are doing and then build upon it to create and do things that the game designers would not have thought of themselves.
Forums are a key enabler for this group intelligence. The panel pointed to Gaia Online’s successful growth of a 5 million strong user base – growth that can be attributed to having robust forums.
It’s also worth noting that this group intelligence does not necessarily mean a compounding of complication. As Daniel James from Three Rings pointed out it is often the simpler things that people enjoy the most. Constrained environments trounce multiple features.
Cary Rosenzweig of IMVU noted that they have 1.6 million items in their virtual goods catalogue. This is leading to real monetization with the top developer making $1M in revenue last year.
Cary did make one total non compute for me. He mentioned that IMVU has been in stealth mode for the past four years. When questioned on this he said that they hadn’t issued a press release, in like…eva.
OK cool, but this does not equate to being in stealth mode. Anyone not seen an IMVU ad on the web? If we follow his logic every social media company that has moved beyond the press release is in perpetual stealth!