Companies that are solely based on Facebook apps are becoming increasingly viable and great examples of this are Playfish and Zynga. Gaming publisher Playfish is a creator of social games for friends over social platforms such as Facebook, Myspace and have created very propular games such as ‘Who has the biggest brain?’, ‘Word Challenge’, and ‘Bowling Buddies’. Let’s look at one such Singapore-based startup that is slowly getting very viral in the facebook game space.
Introducing, FAME (Famous Market Exchange) as the NASDAQ of Social Networking!
FAME is the first virtual stock exchange of people where anyone can incorporate their personality as stocks. Users like your friends or yourself can be traded like any other counters in this free-to-play social game with virtual FAME dollars. Popular personalities will rise in price and their share can be owned. The game is also accessible from FameXC.com as an independent website where players can log in via Facebook Connect.
FAME, like other publishers is positioned as social game that enables trading of virtual shares of players, celebrities or even a prediction on the winner of the next F1 race, but only based on real stock exchange features.
FAME’s incentives for players to participate, is an iPod touch which is the top prize in FAME lottery draw, in which players with higher profits have better chances. FAME is also a marketing and publicity enabler for their corporate customers, and functions as a simulation tool that educates the public on stock trading.
FAME Beta was launched in April 2009 after a year of development, and exhibited their product in e27’s annual unConference. They also have close to 3200 beta testers as of July 2009. The beta product was selected as one of the top 50 finalists in Facebook Fund 2009 out of more than 400 applications, and they were Singapore’s first and only startup finalist, besides that, they were also featured on CAN, Digital Life and TODAY. Being in the top 50 is exciting for the Fame folks because it reinforced their belief in themselves and gave them more energy and vigor to make FAME a more exciting and all-encompassing game. Besides, the USD$1000 advertising credit came in very handy for their upcoming marketing campaign.
Encouraged by the success stories from several early movers, FAME thinks its is possible to monetize as a participant on the platform, due to the sheer size of active users on Facebook. Some cynics pointed out that the market is too saturated, but the team believes there is still space for innovating new applications and business models, as well as improvising the existing ones.
The team is also developing games for Friendster, Myspace and XiaoNei soon.
Currently, they are learning more about OpenSocial support and are looking at bringing this games to as many platforms as possible. At the same time, bringing the players back to their independent site, FameXC.com, where their accounts can still be accessed outside of social media site (unless their workplace block certain social media sites). Players from different networks will then be converged into a single platform and can have their accounts merge if they wish to.
The FAME team has their lucky stars to thank despite their disappointments, exhausted resources and family pressure because these guys stuck to their guns and remained faithful to their vision, even when things got challenging . These guys believe that the direction forward now is to simplify the game further without the gist of a stock market. And they will soon explore the waves of Twitter gaming and Mobile platforms. FAME is currently in their 2.5 version, but do look out for the Beta 3.5, which will be more real-time and collaboration-enabling in upcoming weeks; they are also finalizing a dividends payment systems as well as more ‘badges’ for their worthy players.
FAME aside, SOCIALICO Pte Ltd was founded with an aim of becoming a recognized icon in the social networking industry, through creation of interesting social games and applications. Using FAME as their flagship product, SOCIALICO has plans to create complementary games in upcoming months.
Look out for these guys as they will definitely be shining in the gaming world, in the coming years.