Game Development Reference
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80 percent of Orkut's total customer base. Orkut was created by Google in
2004 in an effort to gain a foothold in the then-emerging social market space.
The network has had a somewhat troubled history (including reports of
worms and other cyber attacks, as well as more traditional criminal activity).
Games are available as part of the Orkut Apps Gallery. As of present, few of
these feature the sophistication of Facebook or MySpace games, and tend to
feature a collection of broken links and trivial Flash apps. However, several
specialized publishers of localized games for Orkut now exist, and a number
of new social gaming companies are targeting Orkut. Expect improvements to
the game offerings on Orkut in coming years. Although the arrival of Google+
cast some doubt on Orkut's future, Google recently confirmed that they had
every intention of continuing to operate Orkut and were investigating possible
synergies between the two networks. 7
#12: myYearbook is a comparatively smaller site, with 7.4 million users,
that was created by two high school students in 2005. It features a propri-
etary currency called Lunch Money, which can be won by playing a vari-
ety of Flash-based games on the site; currency and items can also be traded
on the site. Like several other social networking sites, myYearbook lets
Facebook users log in using their Facebook ID, suggesting that myYearbook
is comfortable being a specialized adjunct to Facebook (rather than situating
themselves as a direct competitor). myYearbook's popular offerings include a
Blind Date social hookup game as well as “Battles,” which are an advanced
version of Their games are divided up by category: Arcade,
Casino, Word, Card, and so on. myYearbook is currently hosting games by
a very limited number of third-party developers but seems to be open to
further third-party development; however, this is a closed platform, mean-
ing that you need to negotiate directly with the platform owners before you
begin developing for the network. Over all, though small, myYearbook seems
to offer a specific, demographic-focused market for applications with built-in
currency features. In July 2011 myYearbook sold to Latin social networking
company QuePasa for $100 million. It is currently unclear what changes this
foretells for the site.
#13: Meetup is a geographically-focused site that allows users of like inter-
ests to organize real-world meetings for protests, consciousness-raising
efforts, environmental cleanups, exercise, parties, and a thousand other
types of events. Although gaming does play a role—gamer groups of every
sort organize tournaments, LAN parties, and so on—there are no online
games on Meetup, and it's hard to imagine what a Meetup-exclusive game
would look like. Meetup has 7.2 million active users, and seems to be pri-
marily focused on users in North America and Canada.
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