The Latest News on the Social Games Market in Europe and Emerging Markets


Turkey – Shining Diamond of Eastern Europe (Guest Post by Afşın Avcı)

By Sebastian Sujka

Afşın Avcı, Country Manager Turkey at SponsorPay

Social Economics has passed its infancy in the US and Europe. Now these markets are growing daily and grabbing a seat in these markets is getting harder and harder. However, there are some baby-markets that are highly promising. Turkey is one of these markets. You will probably have heard about the potential of the Turkish market. Just to illustrate: It is the country with the fourth biggest Facebook audience. Talking about the social games market in particular, the demand in Turkey is huge.  There are 7 Turkish Social Games in Top 500 games on Facebook. The biggest one is Okey with 4.3 million MAU.  Okey is a table game that is very common in the Turkish culture. It is played by four people and is highly popular in Turkey. It is the game you see men playing in cafes all day.

Although Facebook has dominated the market, there are other social networks in Turkey. The most important one is Mynet, which provides casual games in its game center “Mynet Oyun”. Moreover, Mynet distributes well-known social games and virtual worlds such as sMeet in Turkey. On average, 100k users play games on Mynet at the same time and the network has about 1 million daily active users. Another stand-alone social gaming platform is which has daily active users around 500k.  In general, these gaming platforms mostly consist of traditional Turkish games such as Okey, Tavla(Backgammon) or Card Games.

When we get back to social games on Facebook, we see new start-ups popping up. The best known of them is Townster, which is an Urban Planning game that has 568k MAU.  The developers behind Townster is Gamester and I am positive that they can join the big players by reaching 1 million MAU. Turkcell, the leading mobile operator in Turkey recently also entered the social gaming market with a game called Footbo City. The game has 366k MAU without Turkcell spending a lot on advertising or marketing activities yet. Although the market is very promising, the catch is monetization. Social games same as all other online games have to deal with the problem that Turkish users are not accustomed to spending money online.  Mobile payment solutions improved the situation a bit but right now no game except Sanalika can make a positive balance just with selling virtual goods.

Sanalika is a virtual world that was also listed in Google Zeitgeist 2009. Because of the slow online spending mentality it is believed by many that offer-based monetization will boom in Turkey. Some companies already adapted to this model. But currently, there is a big problem on the advertiser-side becuase the market is not developed and ad-models such as CPL or CPS are hard to find. Still, most offer based monetization companies turn their eyes on the Turkish market and and currently I see SponsorPay in the leading position in Turkey. Despite all current problems, online spending is increasing day-by-day and it is to expect that games with a sufficient user base will be able to earn good revenues soon.