Social gaming can be defined as an online game that allows for social interaction between players. This is a broad description and we will look more closely at some examples of social gaming in more detail below. However, one thing we can say for sure is that social gaming has turned into big business.

If we take social casino gaming as an example, such as sweeps casino apps, the global market was estimated to be worth $6.2 billion in 2022, which is incredible. Continue below as we analyse how social gaming has turned into such big business.

Examples of Social Games

Before we assess how social gaming has become such big business, we can look at some of the most popular types of online social games. We have touched upon social casinos above and they have become extremely popular, especially in the United States. Often called sweepstake casinos, social casinos offer games that can be played without using real money.

All the games are played using a virtual currency and an emphasis is placed on enjoyment rather than trying to win money. It is possible to chat to other players on the platform and interact via social media with the social casinos. Another example of an online social game is Minecraft. This is a block construction building game and it allows players to work together as group to build new worlds. There are also competitive mini-games and these can be played against each other.

Among Us is a multiplayer online game that became very popular during the pandemic and remains one of the leading social gaming titles today. A group of people must work together to identify the person trying to sabotage the mission but no one, other than the saboteur themselves, knows the identity of the imposter. We also have highly competitive social games, including League of Legends, Valorant, Rainbow Six: Siege, DOTA 2, and Call of Duty. These social games are played by teams and have been the driving force behind the social gaming boom.

Competitive Esports

One of the reasons why social gaming has become big business is Esports. This is the competitive side of social gaming and some of the biggest tournaments in the world are worth millions of dollars. The League of Legends World Championship is a good example and this Esports tournament takes place annually. One glance at the audience figures underlines why social gaming has turned into big business. For example, in 2018, the League of Legends World Championship final was watched by 99.6 million people.

In 2022, 18,000 people packed into the Chase Center in San Francisco to watch the final of the competition. The total prize pool for the 2022 tournament was $2,225,000 and this is only possible because of how many people want to watch the best social gamers in action. Excelling at an online game no longer means sitting in a bedroom for hours playing the game alone. It means playing games with a team of other people and building a career. The introduction of Esports tournaments has had a massive influence on the rise of social gaming as a business.

Mobile Gaming

Social gaming is not restricted to personal computers and consoles. More people choose to play games on their mobile phone than any other device, which make sense considering many more people own a mobile phone than a gaming console. Fortnite, Clash of Clans, Minecraft, Call of Duty, and Pokémon GO all have social elements. Some of the titles were developed with mobile gaming in mind whereas others, such as Minecraft and Call of Duty, were originally created for PC and consoles but have since been adapted for the touch screen.

With so many people playing games on their mobile phones, it made sense for the big game developers to make their popular games available as a mobile application. The in-game chat feature is one of the most important aspects of social gaming and this has been integrated into the mobile version of the games. It is also possible to follow the progress of other players on the leaderboard and set challenges that bring players together.

Social gaming has turned into big business thanks to the popularity of Esports events and the millions of people using mobile phones to play social games.