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Exent exec predicts "massive layoffs" in social space

"Too many games for the market to bear," says Marazzani

Games on demand firm Exent has predicted "massive layoffs" in the social space during 2012.

Blaming a glut of games for the market to support, head of content programming Rick Marazzani pointed to recent layoffs at RockYou as evidence that social games development is due a fall.

"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," he 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 which shed 40 per cent of its staff in late 2011."

He also predicted that mobile carriers will return to the game market in an advisory capacity as the mobile gaming market continues to diversify and expand.

"Mobile operators once controlled all the content distributed to their phones," offered Marazani. "Those days are gone thanks to Apple's tight grip on the iPhone user experience and the openness of the Android operating system and Market. But the expansiveness and quality diversity of those marketplaces are enabling carriers to bounce back as trusted advisors to offer their subscribers premium app stores with curated content and user friendly, integrated billing."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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