Here’s a sign that social gaming has crossed over into the mainstream: News Corp is looking to build its own social gaming business and ride that bandwagon all the way to the bank.
Talking to an audience at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, News Corp head of digital media Jonathan Miller said that social gaming is a definite area of interest for the company:
Social gaming has a business model. People who play FarmVille actually spend real money to buy virtual food or whatever it may be for their pig. Most people don’t but enough do so that it’s a real business… We’re putting a toe and then a foot in the water and we’ll see how that goes.
Miller went on to say that it’s uncertain whether or not News Corp. would build something new from scratch or partner with an existing company, but when asked if News Corp would consider purchasing Zynga, he replied that News Corp. would rather build its own company “organically” from its IGN and Making Fun sites, adding that Zynga was “a little expensive, that particular company, at the present.” That’s good news for Zynga, who may just have escaped a fate worse than MySpace, but leaves the question of whether News Corp. will have the ability – and patience – necessary to grow something new from the ground up in an already busy market.
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