As I have stated repeatedly, most members of the social gaming industry approach international markets in a tactical, if not knee jerk, manner. All whining aside, today I wanted to write about the first step in formulating strategies for specific regions. That step is to analyze each region using a distance framework (before anyone accuses me of plagiarism, I consider Pankaj Ghemawat the best international business strategist around and have adapted many of his methodologies). Continue reading “My Definition of Distance”
In the social game industry, financial beta is often overlooked, especially when crafting an international strategy. In financial circles, beta is a measurement of risk for stocks and other investments in relation to the market. This is how closely the financial instruments performance is correlated with the overall market performance. Continue reading “My Definition of Beta”
When surveying the social gaming industry, it is amazing how none of our competitors are taking a strategic approach to international markets. I like to categorize them into three different segments, in no particular order:
- Mollusks chase one “exciting” opportunity today just to chase a different one tomorrow.
- Imperialists seem to believe everyone in the world should be playing the exact same game … and loving it.
- Rustics assert that there is no social gaming market beyond Facebook in North America.
Even companies that are relatively international (many based outside the US) often take a “one size fits all” approach that at best sub-optimizes and at worst leads to outright failure.
I will discuss it more in future posts but social game companies need to look at every territory individually and determine the best strategy for that market (which may be not entering the market). Some markets will require adaptation, some markets will be open to the US product, some markets will need local content, etc. The important point is that each territory needs to evaluated systematically and the company needs to develop a specific strategy for the market, not an “international strategy.”
Although I started this blog a few months ago, today is my first post. The delay was largely due to trying to figure out where I wanted to take the blog. The last thing the world needs is another person predicting the future of social gaming. Although the explosive growth in the North Carolina game community (in part due to Disney’s presence here) is very interesting to me, it only impacts a small demographic. So I decided to focus this blog on the international side of the social gaming business. I will touch other topics when I have something interesting to say (or at least something I consider interesting) but overall will provide insights into the global social gaming ecosystem.
This blog is dedicated to the social gaming ecosystem in North Carolina. Lloyd Melnick, the CEO at FiveOneNine Games, is the lead author for the blog. Since starting this blog, Lloyd has moved on to now leading StarsPlay, The Stars Group social and free to play gaming division. This is Lloyd’s personal blog, and all posts are his opinion and do not represent those of his employer or anyone else.