Leveraging social networks to build a userbase
Facebook and Myspace both have over 30 million users. As the creator of a browsergame, you’ll be lucky if your game even sees a tenth of that userbase – but what if you could put it to work for you?
Image that you’re building a browsergame that needs to reach a certain ‘critical mass’ to be actually fun(perhaps it has a strong PvP focus). What can you do to hit that critical mass quickly?
While it’s not for everyone(and there are other ways to achieve this), you can build applications for the popular social networks that either are your game, or integrate into your game – perhaps displaying the stats of your characters and a link to play your game.
Hooking your game into one(or more) of the myriad social networking websites out there lets you hook into their massive userbase – without having to worry about getting them there in the first place. With just a handful of friends who are willing to put your game’s widget/box on their profile page and an interesting enough application, your game’s userbase can easily explode overnight – although if that happens, you’ll need to be careful that the same thing doesn’t happen to your server!
At any rate, social networking sites(and interesting initiatives like Google’s Open Social) are making it easier and easier to get your game out there and in front of as many potential players as you can – if your development schedule allows for it, I highly recommend building an app for at least one social networking service to help get your game out there and in front of as many potential players as possible.