Previously, ZEGOCLOUD launched a portfolio of social 2.0 solutions, which are real-time engagement solutions for online social scenarios plus various entertainment features, including mini-games, karaoke, virtual reality, live quizzing, avatar, etc. Among them, the social + gaming solution has gained a lot of attention and received very positive feedback, which indicates that the trend of adding gaming content to social apps is emerging.
Gamification may be the biggest opportunity for platforms focusing on social networking among strangers
As a generation born to be digital natives, Gen Z tends to spend a great part of their daily lives online, including their social lives. As Gen Z has become the largest cohort of internet users, their needs and preferences for socializing online social networking have also become the main force driving the development of social platforms.
However, social platforms on the market are becoming increasingly homogeneous in terms of functionality. Many platforms don't have sufficient support for first-time strangers to break the ice and lack sustained appeal, making them unable to satisfy Gen Z's diverse online social needs.
After lots of tests and analysis, ZEGOCLOUD and its clients figured out that adding a layer of content to a social platform can significantly improve its user engagement metrics. The reason behind this is simple: it's difficult for two first-time strangers to start a conversation and share actively without any facilitation, and good quality content will serve as a tool to facilitate the icebreaking between strangers. Among different types of content, mini games have been tested and proven to be one of the best contents for this purpose. We've seen a clear trend of combining social networking with gaming, resulting in the emergence of a new form of online social networking—gamified social networking.
According to “2021 Insights of the Internet Generations’ online social behaviors”, a research report jointly published by TT Voice and MobTech, 73.6% of the Internet Generation have fixed gaming friends, and 72.8% of the game friends were found on social gaming platforms. The joyful experience of being able to socialize while playing games have made most of the users spend longer time on the TT Voice platform.
Besides, according to “2020 A research on the new elements users expect mobile social apps to add”, a research report published by iiMedia Research, 34.8% of internet users expect social apps to add interactive mini games.
Socializing is an essential need for humans, and games are a natural medium for human interactions. So, it is particularly important to find ways to effectively integrate socializing with gaming.
ZEGOCLOUD's one-stop social + gaming solution
Although games are one of the best mediums to facilitate social interactions, there is a big gap between social and gaming apps in their tech stacks and business models. With years of experience serving many social and gaming platforms, ZEGOCLOUD has developed knowledge and expertise in both industries, which enabled ZEGOCLOUD to build the "social + gaming" solution that seamlessly integrates mini games into voice chat rooms, social live streaming, and other social scenarios, providing a gamified online social experience that the young generation prefers.
In addition, this social + gaming solution offers the following benefits and advantages:
1) Low development cost and short time-to-market. By integrating one single SDK, you can easily build real-time engagement features such as voice/video chats and live streaming into your apps and get access to all the mini games that come with the solution.
2) Low trial-and-error cost. To find out which mini-games fit your social platform the most, you will need to try different mini-games. This solution offers flexible pricing that allows you to pay only for actual usage.
3) Excellent compatibility with low-end smartphones. ZEGOCLOUD’s mini-games are developed based on a powerful but lightweight mini-game engine, which offers wonderful rendering effects with a small system resource footprint. Therefore, even on low-end smartphones, users can have a great social gaming experience.
Feedback from our clients who have implemented the solution shows that adding mini games to a social platform can significantly improve the platform's user acquisition, retention, and revenue growth.
What kinds of mini games are included in the solution?
ZEGOCLOUD’s mini-game collection covers several categories of games. Let’s take a closer look at each category as follows:
1) Real-time player versus player (PvP) games
Player versus player (PvP) is a type of real-time battle game between two players or two teams. The solution provides several games of this kind, including one-on-one battle games and multiplayer team battle games. It is very easy for new players to get started, and it is a lot of fun to play. The following are some examples:
Knife Throwing Battles: Players take turns throwing knives at a spinning target, which is scored in real-time with different rewards and punishments to add the fun. By putting players into a fun and relaxing contest, this game helps players establish rapport quickly.
Hide and Seek: Players are divided into two teams, one hiding and one seeking. The seeking team will use any available traces like footprints to find the hiding players. The game requires a lot of teamwork, like sharing information or discussing clues, which brings a lot of fun and excitement.
Overcooked: A once smash hit co-op cooking game. Multiple players, normally 2 to 4, work as a team to prepare, cook and serve up a variety of tasty orders before the baying customers storm out. It demands a lot of teamwork to finish and deliver the order within a high-pressure time limit. By preparing the meal and dealing with all the chaos in the kitchen together, players mingle with each other quickly and have a lot of fun.
In addition, there are many other games of this kind loved by players, such as Bumper Cars, Badminton, Table Tennis, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fishing, “One, Two, Three, Wooden Man”, Parkour, and “I am the Loudest”, etc.
2) Voice social games
Players join a virtual room and play the game by speaking with one another via real-time voice as if they are physically in the same room. Essentially, voice social games are a type of voice-based multiplayer games played in a voice chat room. The following are some examples:
Draw and Guess: One player draws a picture of a given word, and the other players guess the word from the drawing.
Online Karaoke (snatch-to-sing): A song is divided into a few parts, and a few players snatch a virtual microphone to sing in turns. When the song is completed, Players’ performances are scored and ranked to create a sense of competition and increase the fun.
Number Bomb: A random number is displayed on the screen, and players are required to say a number other than the one displayed. If a player says the displayed number, then the player is virtually hit by the “number bomb”.
Voice social games perfectly combine voice chat with gaming and help users develop strong social connections in a fun and relaxing setting, which helps to keep users coming back to the platform and improves the platform's user stickiness and retention.
3) Online board games
Offline board games are very popular among young generations. Various board game clubs offer space for friends to hang out together after work or during weekends. Noticing the popularity of offline board games, some social platforms have launched online board games for their users.
ZEGOCLOUD’s solution includes several high-quality online board games, including a variant of “Murder Mystery Game”.
Murder Mystery games are also called live-action role-play games. Players in the game role-play the characters in a predefined script, follow the script plot to debate, reason, and finally find out the true murderer. The gameplay does not only allow players to enjoy role-playing, but also helps foster social connections between the players.
The solution also provides other popular online board games such as Werewolves, Werewolves in Space, “Who is the Undercover Agent”, UNO, etc.
4) Live streaming games
Live streaming games are mini games that can be added into a live streaming context to help the hosts and audience members have more fun together. Let’s look into a couple of examples:
A War of Spells: When a battle is going on between two live streaming hosts, an audience member ranked at the top in virtual gifting in a period of time is entitled to endow his or her favored host a virtual spell. The host then can cast the virtual spell to beat the other host with a certain kind of force, increasing the chance of winning.
Taming Monster: the game allows audience members to send likes and virtual gifts to a host, helping the host to increase his/her virtual energy, which can enhance the host’s power to beat monsters. And the audience members can follow the host’s lead to beat monsters.
5) Other game categories
The solution also provides chess and card games such as Ludo, Gobang, and Chinese Chess, and leisure mini games like dice dolling Games, Fruit Master, etc.
Furthermore, the solution offers types of games that are customized for users from various regions, such as America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
Gamified social networking has become a trend, but only those products that can directly address the needs of users can stand out from the competition. Since the first launch in late 2011, ZEGOCLOUD’s social + gaming solution has helped many social platforms significantly enhance their user engagement metrics and revenue growth. As the market and gamified social networking products continue to evolve, ZEGOCLOUD will also continue to innovate and offer better solutions.