For the last few weeks, i was trying to understand gaming industry and its need for software. I had been making some notes, predictions of my own and also few set of calculated but sure shot trends that i was confident of. I was also fairly confident that acquistions, consolidations and new trends to be around the corner in this interesting space.

While i was working with the BDM guys here, i was really predicting that Video and Mobile Game makers will be around to offer social gaming solutions as part of their new strategy. This has got proven by the very recent acquisition of Playfish by EA for a cool 400 Million$ (http://blog.playfish.com/2009/11/09/were-combining-forces-with-ea/).

In general the following could be the next set of activities in this highly competetive and profitable space that beats recession. This for sure is an opportunity for focussed product engineering services firms like us to stand up and be part of ..

— Console based gaming leaders like Microsoft, Nitendo to online moghuls like mySpace could jump the gun looking for attractive buys

— What this would mean is virtual currency platform makers, smaller and niche social gaming companies could be the one’s that would be on the radar of the vendors to snatch them.

— This would mean a sure but highly focussed probability of these comapnies looking to increase their features, gaming options and payment integrations. Applications like e-wallet integrations, payment processing solutions, interoperable virtual currency, social gaming platforms and facebook, opensocial widget integrations are around the corner. Larger and responsible gaming vendors could look for robust gaming platforms that are cloud scalable with an ability to cater to multi user gaming structures.

— Newer ways to monetize from social gaming solutions are about to emerge. This would re-define the cost per action or i would like to say cost per game that end users would be associated with. Click through Ad’s from social gaming platforms could lead to context sensual advertising. Console based virtual purchases¬† with subscription based models are bound to sweep the gaming arena. This calls for specialized software solutions that can seamlessly have these happen.

–People are talking about gaming consoles having the ability to deliver games on demand where the console could get connected to a local/central server and have the ability to churn game on demand and make gaming billing solutions reach SaaS models.

— Last but not the least you cannot ingore the power of Mobile as a platform. Social games are making their ways into iPhones and Androids as pre-packaged, downloadable options which will again call for specialized software solution and service capability to cater to these needs.

We at imagineaservices have a unique blend of developing cutting edge social media applications, games on the cloud over facebook and zembly platforms as early as 2008 and we have been integration monetization solutions, providing e-wallet integrations on top of facebook, open social widgets. iPhone application development has been a niche strength that we have which positions us to uniquely take advantage of this emerging opportunity.

I believe social gaming is the way forward and we have strong capabilities to address this.