Nintendo Wii has been revolutionary for the videogame space, expanding the demo beyond the 18-34 guy. With the success and adoption of social networking, the game continues to change with social, addictive applications that are created, distributed and adopted in staggering numbers with just a click of the mouse.
Coming from the videogame space, it is staggering to me that a successful game like Farmville can have over 21M daily players. I have seen grandparents play in the airport waiting for a flight, my nieces play this at family reunions ALL DAY LONG, as well a wide range of friends across all ages.
Many of these games successfully tap into game theories and basic game dynamics that has turned the console business into a multi-billion industry. (Tetris was an early master of uber addictive gameplay.)
Because events within the game can be instantly broadcast to 400 of your closest friends on Facebook, millions can quickly be exposed to your game. A perfect ecosystem of lead-generation meets word of mouth.
These games are not being created by Activision, EA or other pubishers that have dominated this space since the 80's. They are created by start ups like Zynga or Playdom, that understand how social networking and mobile are fundamentally changing the way people interact and communicate with each other.
The console business must be scratching their heads, as they were just figuring out how to adjust their development cycles to start monetizing online walled gardens like Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. Additionally, these nimble competitors have development costs, production timelines and marketing/distribution costs that are a fraction of the cost. Traditional publishers are not only losing the battle for time spent, but they are being out marketed through social media marketing. (Zynga is one of the top spenders in Facebook.) At the very least, this should be a wake up call to publishers as well as other content creators to embrace the power of social media in all aspects of their business.