As much as I try to limit my trysts with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), gaming always seems to pull me back in.
Last time, it was Zynga's Empires & Allies that drew me in. Each day I'd log in and fight, all the while honoring requests from "neighbors" who also happened to be Facebook "friends" I'd just met. In the end, I lasted about a month before unplugging.
I've resisted every other social gaming overture since -- until now. This week, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX.DL) updated the mobile edition of its superhero combat game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, to include Facebook sharing. The console edition was the video game industry's top selling title for both April and May.
To this point, the free mobile edition had been a lead-in for would-be console-edition buyers. Log in on the console, and you'd get bonuses in the mobile edition, and vice versa. Now, Warner is promising new characters and abilities to mobile gamers who use Facebook to draw in new players.
Which. Is. Just. Awful.
How am I supposed to resist that when I can't seem to get past Battle 42 on the iPad edition? Facebook promised help, and I fell for it. Hook, line, and sinker. But I'm also not the only one. A Facebook page for connecting with other Injustice mobile players has more than 1,400 "likes" as of this writing.
More broadly, Facebook said last year at this time that one-quarter of its users play games on the site. Untold millions more are likely plugging in via social integration, just as I am with Injustice. The net result, I'd guess, is a swell of data that Facebook can use for tuning how it displays ads and pitches gifts, among other things.
Of course, a lot depends on the quality of the games. Those operating on the platform directly generated 11% more revenue year over year, but only 12% of sales. Obviously, plenty of work remains before CEO Mark Zuckerberg gets to call Facebook a serious gaming platform. Then, again, maybe he doesn't need to. Q2 revenue soared 53% as a consequence of handling more data for more users.
Or, in simpler terms: Who cares where I'm playing, if Facebook knows what I'm playing?
Now it's your turn to weigh in. How much are you using Facebook for gaming? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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