Game application providers Social Gaming Network (SGN) and Zynga have just launched platforms for developers looking to create games that run on the major social networks like Facebook and Bebo. It's a competitive space, even in the race to get out first, with both vendors announcing in advance of next week's Game Developers Conference (you can read Zynga's announcement here). With both platforms the appeal to smaller, independent developers is one of scale, distribution and monetization. We've just added new Social Gaming Network API and Zynga API profiles to our directory where we'll add more details as they become available.
Both networks will help developers promote their games and will offer revenue sharing models on the advertising side (Eric Eldon has more on the ad models at VentureBeat). Using these APIs and they get access to an existing network of apps and users. How many users? And Erick Schonfeld points out that both of these companies have healthy sized audiences:
Both companies have varying claims as to how large their audiences actually are. SGN CEO Shervin Pishevar says, “We are able to promote the developers’ games across millions of users and 700 million pageviews a month.” SGN’s most popular games on Facebook and its own site are Warbook, Street Race, and Fight Club. Zynga, for its part claims 1.3 million daily active users across Facebook, Bebo, Meebo, and Friendster. It’s most popular game is Texas Hold’Em poker (with 609,000 daily active users in Facebook alone), followed by Blackjack, Attack!, Scramble, and Sea Wars. At least on Facebook, it appears that Zynga has more daily active users.
Zynga games include Texas Hold’em Poker, Blackjack, Attack!, Scramble, Triumph and Sea Wars. Existing games SGN on Facebook include WarBook and Fight Club. And some like WarBook are available on Bebo.
Caroline McCarthy points out that "Zynga and the Social Gaming Network aren't the best of friends--Social Gaming Network founder Shervin Pishevar has been critical of Zynga's games, which he claims infringe upon existing ones (Sea Wars, for example, is a lot like Battleship), and company representatives have said that they think Zynga's popularity metrics are exaggerated. Both gaming start-ups claim to be "the biggest social gaming network." It might not be HD DVD vs. Blu-ray, but this is a rivalry that could get ugly."
Note that on Monday at the Game Developers Conference Zynga will also be starting their $150,000 contest where they will "select the top 10 submissions which will receive 30,000 guaranteed user installs for free." We've now added this to our Contests page.
More commentary over on Techmeme.