If you look at the litany of casual games out there in the market – from Farmville, to Mafia Wars, Webkinz, Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, etc… all of these companies have something in common:
They are all developed and put out by companies with no real traditional media properties. (Yes I know Disney bought Club Penguin – but it was created without any use of Mickey or Minnie)
I was looking at HIT Entertainment this morning – home of Thomas The Tank Engine, Angeline Ballerina and others – and realized that there has really been almost no traction by traditional character based companies in the social gaming space – and started to wonder why that is.
My quick take is that there is such a command and control architecture in the structures at the big companies – that quick innovation is almost beyond them. Partnering is an alien concept – I mean how can you trust anyone else with your IP? And perhaps even more importantly – these projects may not move the needle for the parent company.
I get and understand all of these reasons, but reject them as short sighted. In a world where kids are spending more and more time online – why wouldn’t you want to have these kids interact with your brand as much as possible – rather than just continuing to hammer away ini the traditional channels.
Makes no sense to me – but what do I know.