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Bigpoint: "Everyone wants to reduce their dependence on Facebook"

Online games market is much bigger than one social network alone, says Reisberger

Bigpoint's Philip Reisberger has said that companies in the social games market are looking to reduce their reliance on Facebook, because the potential market outside of the social network is so much larger.

Speaking as part of a larger interview published today, Reisberger commented specifically on Zynga, saying that he thought that the social giant was definitely trying to manoeuvre itself beyond the constraints of Facebook in order to grow.

"Oh they desperately want to," he said of the Cityville creator's desire to establish a separate user base.

"They have plans, they've had plans for the last two years. Everyone wants to reduce their dependence on Facebook I think. Eventually it will come, but as some attempts have shown in the past, it's not as easy to understand the world outside Facebook because it's a totally different world.

"That's why Bigpoint is in a very good position: we're not just the ones developing, we've mastered, to a certain degree, the distribution."

"They grow something and then the next thing is a little bit better - they totally understand it - their business sense is quite similar to ours."

Philip Reisberger on Zynga

It has been suggested, by analysts and rivals alike, that Zynga is merely stirring its pot of users with each new release - moving players on from old games rather than attracting new users.

Reisberg says that this will inevitably become a problem if you restrict your audience to people who use Facebook, but is not an issue once you embrace the internet as a whole.

"For me it's less the portfolio - I love what Zynga is doing, they really have this iterative innovation," said Reisberger. "They grow something and then the next thing is a little bit better - they totally understand it - their business sense is quite similar to ours.

"They have a different basis, though, because we're outside of Facebook. The 200-250 million monthly actives that they have, that's say 30-40 per cent of the active Facebook population. Our quarter of a billion registrations we have do not represent 30-40 percent of the internet's users.

"So we're in a bigger market, we're not relying on a new guy registering on Facebook - we have over a thousand media partners who drive traffic, so whenever they venture into new ground, it's beneficial for us."

The Bigpoint boss certainly sees Zynga as beneficial to the market as a whole, however, converting non-players into gamers who are lapping up new content.

"For me, I like what Facebook, Zynga, mobile are doing - they're educating people to play. What I like a lot is the fact that when we were young the gamer was a guy locked in his attic or bedroom. Now you see people playing everywhere.

"So I don't see this peaking, I see it growing, maybe even accelerating because a few years ago we had maybe ten million gamers, now we have a billion gamers. So I think that there's huge potential. What we really see is that the quality of people's expectations are really rising."

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