Green Space Social and Mobile Gaming industry getting busier…

There are now at least three games on Facebook that cover the “green” aspects of social gaming specifically. They are GreenSpace, Ecotopia and Trash Tycoon.

So far, it looks like Trash Tycoon is killing the others in terms of users, but we’ll wait a couple more months before pronouncing the others DOA. Ecotopia launched in early Spring, while GreenSpace and Trash Tycoon both launched mid-May/beg-June. Facebook is currently showing TT with over 160,000 monthly users, Ecotopia with about 2,000, and GreenSpace just under 180.

I have been playing all three and here are my observations:

Trash Tycoon was funded with less money than the other two, yet has clearly gotten an edge out of the gate. Armed with a name which is catchier, I don’t see that the game mechanics are as well developed as GreenSpace, yet clearly they got the “endearment” part of the gaming audience dynamics. The name elevates the user into “tycoon” status, and who doesn’t want to be elevated while playing a game? Both Ecotopia and Trash Tycoon seem like simpler games to play and their graphics are more likely to attract a younger (early teen) and more female demographic as opposed to GreenSpace.

I believe that both Trash Tycoon and Ecotopia also benefit from greater V2R (virtual to real) world marketing associates. People who will get you eyeballs globally. I don’t see that happening in any of GreenSpace’s marketing activities. Blogs about friends may feel nice and are surely appreciated by the friends that can be leant a hand, yet when they become the only public contacts (ie. not part of a grander marketing campaign), I can’t see how GreenSpace is ever going to hope to breakout into the leader position of this pack by focusing on vlogs about things other than its industry, world events or things that take it out of Ottawa and into a broader, more global audience.

Now please don’t take this as defeatist, yet if I was a real-world marketer wanting to partner with a “green game”, right now it would be Trash Tycoon whom I would approach, even if my product was more technical (ie. renewable energy, electric vehicles, etc…). The fact is that until GreenSpace finds itself partnerships with companies outside of its small niche nest, it won’t grow into its potential. So although its better suited to a Tesla, it simply has no numbers to attract them with. As for Ecotopia, even though it had Hollywood help in creating it, the marketing has not matched the development. Harrison Ford needs to be out there promoting the game far more for his name to be of value to bringing in users.

As far as graphics are concerned, the artistic team at RocketOwl did an amazing job. In fact, the intro video (which is interestingly missing from the website as a focus) is probably the best piece of marketing for a game that I’ve seen in a while. And as for the game itself, the graphics of GreenSpace are far superior to the others in terms of detail. GreenSpace’s game mechanics, flow, etc.. are far superior to the others and great kudos to Hitzel and team for what they put together. I can’t wait for the team missions to come on board and continue to hope for some marketing messaging to welcome me each time I go into the game to let me know what’s new and exciting or permit me to go straight to the game.

Of all the GreenSpace vlogs put out onto YouTube, only one got over 400 views to date, and that’s when Zynga was mentioned. In fact, that video accounts for nearly 50 % of views. Maybe a hint is to tag onto world events and brands rather than local unknowns? While the charitable aspect of the most recent vlogs clearly shows a corporate culture that is kind and considerate to its community, it won’t put much money into investors pockets, nor give the company a reputation in the industry as sharp marketers. And its clearly not about funding money available for advertising…as Trash Tycoon has proven.

There is no doubt that this area will get more crowded and that’s not a bad thing for the industry, although it may take its toll on a few of the players that just don’t cut it. The market always wins, and hopefully our team at RocketOwl is a part of the winning.


PS. I have not mentioned anything about another game in the sphere named Alter Space that came out of a Filipino development company. As I play it more, I will include it in my thoughts.

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