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Social Media Notes from Babson

Grad students from Babson College recently held an interesting alumni panel discussion on social media and video games.  Good times were had by all – I was particularly pleased to meet fellow alumni working in the industry.  Not to mention that I’d been tasked with a new social media/Facebook project, so that was some awesome timing!

The other speakers on the panel, Matthew Ross (GameLogic), Jeremiah Cohn (Turbine), and Tom George (Turbine), had some great info, so here are my notes:

  • MMOs: Free to play with microtransations vs subscribe with free microtransactions
    • 20% of Dungeons and Dragons Online users do microtransactions
    • 1-3% of Farmville users do microtransactions
  • Users should be able to interact with game outside of games
    • Checking stats on websites, etc…
  • Designers must leverage communities via dedicated groups
    • Giveaways via social media (ex: give out codes to DLC via Twitter)
    • Groupon style giveaways (ex: if 100 people buy a coupon, it becomes active, otherwise no-go and people get their money back)
  • Learn from Mob Wars and develop a network
  • Open systems guarantee innovation [coming from users]
    • Allowing users to create virtual goods and game additions will give you more content over a longer period of time
    • Costs developers nothing and taxing the sale of these goods can lead to big profits
  • Designers need to remember that “we sell entertainment”, but our vehicle is games
  • Virtual currency gives social media sites
    • Less decision making – similar to casino chips, Microsoft points – users don’t necessarily treat these currencies the same as good old cashmoney
    • Does not cost you to create virtual currency!
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