Social games have a promising future ahead of them despite one of the industry's biggest players, Zynga, experiencing financial losses, King.com CEO Riccardo Zacconi tells Polygon.
With Zynga's third quarterly earnings report suggesting that players might be losing interest in social games, Zacconi says this is far from the case.
"The reality is that there are one billion users on Facebook and 230 million of those people are playing games," he says. "I think for these reasons it's the largest game platform at the moment. It's huge. It's a platform that is perfect for reaching players."
Zacconi says that what the industry is seeing is more developers entering the social games space and players diversifying. Where players once only played Zynga games, they now have more options and are trying games by other developers. He says that the losses of one company are not necessarily reflective of a loss for the entire industry – it's simply a change in consumer behavior.
"I think it's unthinkable today to offer a game where you play by yourself."
"Before there was one player who was launching more or less the same game in one genre and this is a subset of the world of entertainment," Zacconi says. "Imagine a movie studio where the films which are coming out are always the same genre of movie – it would be extremely boring and after a while people would not want to see movies again because they already know what happens.
"We what we are now doing is bringing in a variety of genres of gameplay."
Zacconi adds that in a market where women between the ages 25-45 are the main demographic, more and more developers are beginning to cater to the "niche" male audience and the games are also expanding to mobile devices. He says social game players are still playing – they're just playing differently.
"I think it's unthinkable today to offer a game where you play by yourself and I think the trend to future-proof a game is you have to be able to play with your friends, to play with others," he says. "I think social games are here to stay."