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Social games companies to cut costs in 2012, says games on demand boss

Exent's Rick Marazzani has predicted a hard year ahead for social gaming companies.

Speaking to Develop, Marazzani - who heads up content programming at major games on demand provider Exent - predicted "massive layoffs" at social companies. The executive pointed to RockYou as an example; the developer let 40% of its staff go in November, and sold the recently-acquired Playdemic to makie ends meet.

“With multiple hit games and big marketing budgets needed to stay afloat at the top of the Facebook game charts, many social publishers simply weathered 2011 waiting to see what Zynga's IPO would foretell for their own futures,” Marazzani said.

“Faced with the reality that there are too many people working on too many games for the market to bear, social developers will be forced to place smarter and fewer bets as user acquisition cost and competition grows.”

Exent, which partners with traditional publishers as well as mobile and casual companies, expects 2012 to bring greater Android sales, an increase in the popularity of tablet devices, and more location-based social games.

Thanks, Shack.

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