Social games frequently cause a lot of confusion to people outside the business as there is no agreed on definition of what a social game really is and what differentiates it from a browser game, casual game, or an MMO – just to name some other labels. When it comes to social networks however, the case is usually pretty clear. With Comunio the case is different. It is hard to decide if it is a social game, a social network or none of the two. He talked to Maik Viefhues, Marketing Manager at Comunio, to find some answers.
SocialGamesObserver: To readers that do not know comunio, could you sketch the concept in a few sentences?
Maik: Comunio is a football online manager where several players can create and join their own small league. The goal of the game is to score best within the community. The season is simultaneous to the Bundesliga. The score is based on the real performances of the players and their teams. The winner is the one who scored best at the end of the season.
SGO: Would you say Comunio is a social game, a social network, or none of the two?
Maik: Comunio launched in 2000 and offers a social way of gaming. You play with friends or other people. Your success depends on the behavior of your competitors. You can bargain, buy and sell football players to other users. You can discuss with friends and meet thousands of other people in our forum. Comunio is turn-based, interactive and social.
SGO: How many users and how many seperate communites do you have on Comunio right now?
Maik: Hundreds and thousands of people play Comunio today. We offer our football online manager in ten countries and cover the best football leagues of the world.
SGO: Are you considering cooperations of any kind with social networks like Facebook?
Maik: We launched our international Comunio fanpage on Facebook in 2009 (http://www.facebook.com/Comunio) . Today, we have more than 11.000 fans and the number is increasing daily.
SGO: Who would you consider to be competition (e.g. Kicker Buddies on Facebook)?
Maik: There are a numerous football manager games, however Comunio has the widest range of features and most individual game play. Apart from that, Kickerbuddies is no longer online.
SGO: Are you considering to integrate other games on your user-strong platform?
Maik: We offer manager games for other football leagues and special tournaments like the UEFA Champions League or the FIFA World Cup, but also a formula 1 manager (comuniogp.com) and a manager for winter sports (wintercomunio.com). This way of growth with its opportunities of cross-marketing is the one we prefer.
On Comunio.de we have integrated an own prediction game and a cup mode as an additional tournament to the league championship. We have also created a mobile version of Comunio.
SGO: Why did you switch from Kicker.de to Sportal in terms of grading players?
Maik: Sportal.de publishes their grades earlier than any other editorial site. Additionally it offers a complete service. Their grading is transparent and detailed. And in 2005 it was also a financial decision.
SGO: How do you calculate a player’s transfer value?
Maik: We work with a complex algorithm, but basically: When a player is bought from the computer, part of the difference between bid and market value are added to the football player’s former market value. On the other side, if the computer places a football player on the exchange market an nobody buys the player, his market value will fall a little bit.
SGO: What innovations can we expect from Comunio in the future?
Maik: At the moment we are working on a notification system.