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Ken Rutkowski  (Source: socaltech.com)
Forty to 50 percent of time spent on Facebook is dedicated to playing games

A successful entrepreneur has predicted that Facebook will be the largest bank by 2015.

Ken Rutkowski, founder and president of Metal International, is an observer of technology and an entrepreneur. Recently, he stated that Facebook would be the biggest bank by 2015 because of Facebook Credits found in games.

Facebook has become a powerhouse in the social networking industry since its launch in 2004. It currently has over 600 million active users, and even had a movie made about its creation called "The Social Network." 

In addition to just socializing with friends, Facebook allows its users to connect through playing games like Farmville, which was developed by Zynga. Farmville is undoubtedly Zynga's most popular game with an estimated value of $12 billion.

"Facebook will be the largest bank by 2015," said Rutkowski. "I hear you say 'how can they be a bank, what's going on?' If you play games on Facebook, which, by the way 40 to 50 percent of the time spent on Facebook is playing games, and those games - like Farmville and Mafia Wars - are paid for and you have to buy credits for that and they are called Facebook Credits." 

Rutkowski mentioned that "old school" media companies have a market capitalization of $241.7 billion while "new school" media companies are valued at $319.7 billion. 

Rutkowski also noted that people who do not have a Facebook profile may want to make one soon because if they don't, a profile will be made for them. 

"Why is it important to have a profile?" said Rutkowski. "They are going to start using that to determine what your credit worthiness is. By the way, if you don't have a profile they will make one for you, so it's better for you to create it and manage it than them. That's why you want to be selective with what you put on there. If you have kids that are being idiots online, make sure you stop them right away as they are creating a pretty negative profile long term and it happens often."

In other news, Rutkowski reported that Apple is now the most profitable retailer in the world. 

"Apple retail stores do $2400 per square meter of floor space compared with Tiffany's which does $700 per square meter per day," said Rutkowski. 


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Unbelievable!
By xplice on 4/14/2011 12:10:41 AM , Rating: 5
This totally blows my mind... I thought i would see what all the fuss was about the game farmville valued at 12 BILLION DOLLARS so i loaded into my facebook account. Whaaat a piece of $hit, i mean pay real money to buy virtual seeds and click ur dude around to harvest them?? And then you have to remember to log back in before the crops whither??

And what do i get out of this time consuming process?? Some more facebook virtual money that i can't actually buy anything tangible with, just more virtual crap??

The fact that facebook could become the worlds biggest bank based on selling all this utterly useless $hit really makes me question are the majority of people total morons for spending there money this way??




RE: Unbelievable!
By Fritzr on 4/14/2011 12:14:53 AM , Rating: 5
Everquest, The Fourth Coming, World of Warcraft, Second Life...

Need anymore be said?


RE: Unbelievable!
By TSS on 4/14/2011 9:21:36 AM , Rating: 3
Yes. People are not morons if they pay for what brings them fun. Personally, i've paid around $450 for 3 years of WoW, better described as 3 years of fun (i had breaks and such. If it's not fun don't play). I've quit since before cataclysm came out, i don't miss it and i don't regret the time spent in there.

To be fair i can't really rip on people for spending money on facebook games either. If they get their dosis of fun out of it and it doesn't interfere with the rest of their life, why not?

From quickly reading up on farmville though (i don't play it nor do i have or will i ever make a facebook account, screw all of yall) it seems that apart from exclusive (decorative) items which cost real money you can virtually earn coin to virtually purchase seeds which then bring in more coin. In that case, people are frickin morons for spending money on the stuff they will litteraly earn while playing the game.

Which would be the same as buying gold from goldsellers in wow. Or in F2P games like league of legends, purchasing RP to buy characters while all of them can be bought with IP (which you earn playing games).

Which would make them morons yes. Big morons, too. But just spending money on something virtual doesn't make you a moron. Otherwise, everybody who doesn't download pirated stuff is a moron. Why pay for virtual data on a DVD when you can have it on your HDD for free?

....actually that isn't helping my point.


RE: Unbelievable!
By FITCamaro on 4/14/2011 9:49:09 AM , Rating: 2
Well put.

I think Farmville is f*ing retarded. But others feel what I play is. Started playing EVE Online again.


RE: Unbelievable!
By ShaolinSoccer on 4/14/2011 11:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
Nice. What I love about Eve is you can play it for free using in game money. I decided I wanted to take a break so I bought 4 months worth of time and log in every 30 days or so to start a new skill. When I do decide to come back, I'll have some new toys to mess with :D


RE: Unbelievable!
By VahnTitrio on 4/14/2011 10:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
Ah yes, Diablo 2. I think I made a couple hundred bucks off that game. Plus I have plenty of FG saved up, so when D3 arrives I should be in pretty good shape so long as they don't change trading too much in the game.


RE: Unbelievable!
By ClownPuncher on 4/14/2011 3:36:50 PM , Rating: 2
I sold my EQ account for $1,400. More than I invested in monthly fees and expansions.


RE: Unbelievable!
By augiem on 4/14/2011 3:54:49 AM , Rating: 5
This is utter garbage. Blithering masses, you are all moron idiots that deserve to be lead around like cows and milked for your money and then made into steak when they're done with you. I CANNOT FATHOM that such a mindless, un-fun, useless, time wasting, hoarder mentality, nag-game like Farmville has become the single most successful game in history. I don't have stats but nothing I know of since the beginning of video games comes close to that kind of cash, including WOW and Everquest. Last I looked the entire Mario franchise was worth something like $30 billion, but that's over almost 30 years and dozens of games, movies, toys, etc.

I read an article talking about these nag games analyzing the money people spent on them and about 50% of the revenue comes from people buying the $30 credit packs. You saw that right -- people (erm monkeys... wait that's an insult to the poor monkeys) are spending THIRTY DOLLARS AT A TIME to get a few hours taken off their sentence of playing the game to get higher level items. You can get almost any AAA title from a year ago for $30. But it doesn't usually stop at one pack either!

I don't know why I'm constantly shocked by stuff like this. I want to believe people are smarter than this, but they keep proving me wrong. All the rich successful people out there know this is true, but somehow deep down I don't want to believe it. Ugh. Life is sad. And Marc Pincus is a scumbag.


RE: Unbelievable!
By augiem on 4/14/2011 4:03:28 AM , Rating: 2
By the way Electronic Arts (ERTS) market cap is only 6.65 billion. Activision (ATVI) is 13.16 billion. Konami, 2.53 billion. FARMVILLE, not even Zynga is 12 BILLION??? Holy... It is an insult to the game industry and thinking people world wide (what few are left of us.)

This will utterly wipe out the entire game industry for decades. This worthless drivel is being gobbled up by the public so completely that ALL companies will have to follow suit or be crushed. You can see it already. Capcom with their Restaurant City ripoff, Zombie Cafe. It's a crying shame as a lifelong gamer since the late 70's and an indy game developer just getting started to see this happen to the industry. T_T


RE: Unbelievable!
By Aloonatic on 4/14/2011 5:43:00 AM , Rating: 3
I think you're over reacting slightly. Just as people have been over the growth of mobile games like Angry Birds, comparing them to games like Modern Warfare and such, saying hat it's the end of the line for "quality" PC and console games as everyone looks to make a fast buck from the next AB. These facebook games, like mobile games, will not, and (IMHO) are not meant to replace "proper" games.

Large budget console and PC games are the movies of the games world, while these facebook games (and mobile games) are the TV shows. Some of them are good, some are bad, some just pass the time. I admit it, I've watched far too much QVC for no really reason, but I have never bought anything, and I see facebook games as being like this. You don't have to buy or spend money on them, but can still "enjoy" them to some extent, so who cares? T will always be a market for well made, quality games out there. They will just have to work harder as they have more competition, and that's something that I usually look forward to, not fear.


RE: Unbelievable!
By Aloonatic on 4/14/2011 5:59:18 AM , Rating: 2
I should probably clarify that comment, as I appear to contradict myself, saying that fb/moble games aren't aren't competing with "proper" games, and then saying that they are.

What I mean is that they are competing in the sense that everything that you might want to buy is, for a slice of your household budget. I also do not think that they are directly competing though, in the sense that gamers will lose interest in "proper" games, forsaking them for facebook games, so there will always be a healthy amount of money for developers who want to make games for gamers on consoles and PC. FB and mobile games wont replace "proper" games, they are almost certainly played (like WoW too, to a lesser extent) by games from a new demographic, who never played console or PC games much anyway.


RE: Unbelievable!
By augiem on 4/14/2011 1:12:39 PM , Rating: 3
The problem is, publicly traded companies always seek the biggest market and the largest piece of the pie. It's just the nature of business. Management will do market analysis and conclude if they stay as-is and make traditional games like Konami, they're likely to stay within the $3 billion range. However, they'll look at the social gaming earnings and see growth like Zynga from $4 billion last year to $12 billion this year. With profit potential like that, it would be any business major's DUTY to follow suit.

Even if "quality" games still exists, they will almost certainly be infected by the "buy your progress and stuff" scam that has made Farmville all those billions. People ARE willing to BUY virtual nick nacks and experience levels with cash, and judging by Zynga's meteoric rise (and just about every other social gaming company), obviously its FAR more reaching than just the EQ/2nd Life/WOW crowd. They've successfully got Average Jane/Joe spending $30 a pop just so they won't have to suffer through 10-20 hours working to get the latest cute drawing or get a higher score than their friends.

It's coming. Too easy to see that. Games have been forcing you to earn your bonus items for over a decade already on all the major systems. It's a no brainer to take that out to the next step and charge you directly for it. Even guys like EA are already doing it on the smartphone versions of their games. But this is just the beginning. I doubt anyone out there thought token packs would ever generate this kind of money, but the secret's out now and the whole world will want a piece.


RE: Unbelievable!
By augiem on 4/14/2011 1:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
Taking it a little further out, we all know the cloud is coming as well. With Facebook, Playstation Network, Xbox Live, etc., the framework for the transition to all social gaming is already here. I see gaming for the large part as moving away from the 1-player experience entirely in the future. Even a game like Farmville which is really a single-player game with ZERO interaction between friends, integrates the social element so that even though you're playing by yourself, you have the sense that you're existing in a larger social world by visiting your friend's farms (to see all the loot they got and get jealous) and sending/receiving items from your frieds. What was traditionally a 1-player experience in a closed system is now opened up to observers and competitors. So whether you are competitive and want to outdo your friends' scores or you just like to show off your deco, you have incentive to play other than the torture... ahem gameplay. Future games will certainly have far more real interaction between players. Whatever forms of incentive exist, plunking down cash to gain an advantage in that area, whatever flavor it comes in, seems to be something the largest audience is willing to do. Bait and switch em. Free game! Oh wait, it sucks, is boring, and horrible, but if you SPEND, your experience will get better! All my friends are playing it and having a great time, I just started out and it sucks, I better spend a few bucks so I can be like them.

Ahh, gameplay. The other nail in the coffin I see is that as such a huge potential for profit, this trend will SERIOUSLY dumb down games trying to get this biggest piece of the pie audience. It's happened before in alot of industries, including movies and also games (I'm already not very happy with the current state of the industry, but what I see for the future is just all that much more bleak and very obvious to me as a simple continuation of its course for the last 15 years.)

Yes, I played Farmville about 1.5-2 years ago and played it daily for about 6 months as an exercise to understand Facebook gaming and what the draw was. It became a competition between me and my friend, I logged on every 4 hours to harvest and plant. At least I never spent a DIME on it. I could see from the first day what type of "game" it was. But I'm sad to say I did contribute to the success of Zynga in some way.


RE: Unbelievable!
By FITCamaro on 4/14/2011 9:50:57 AM , Rating: 2
Most people who play actual games would never play something like Farmville.

So I don't see it having any impact on EA, Epic, etc.


RE: Unbelievable!
By augiem on 4/14/2011 1:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
EA has already been affected. Their iPhone games try to sell you cars and upgrades. I recall seeing some article recently where EA (I believe) just infused their social gaming wing with $100 M in an attempt to build that out and take some of the pie.

And yes, "real" gamers do play Farmville. Why? Because they're stuck at work with nothing better to do on breaks. It doesn't really matter if they play or not because real gamers are FAR smaller a market than "normal people." This argument was made before with the Wii. (I have nothing against Wii, at least they're games unlike Farmville.) Yes, Wii DID change gaming as a whole and is still having an effect. Kinect and Sony's magic ice cream cones wouldn't have existed without it. Kinect is the fastest selling consumer electronic device in history. That says something to me, and says even more to the management of these companies.

Least common denominator. In modern business, it wins. It's a slow process for something to degrade to that level because of resistance from people like us, but in the end, it does overtake. Ebay bought Southeby's. Volkswagen bought Porsche and Lamborghini. China bought America. Walmart always wins. And we get 10 super hero CG fest movies a year.


RE: Unbelievable!
By FITCamaro on 4/14/2011 5:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
So the real question is what is the next big retarded ass "video game" we can come up with to suck the money out of people's wallets like a fat chick sucks the frosting out a twinkie.


RE: Unbelievable!
By Aloonatic on 4/14/2011 4:10:46 AM , Rating: 2
Different things for different people. A lot of time that I have spent (well, used to, they seem to be recycling the same idea over and over now) playing these games (though I would never pay to) has been during coffee breaks at work, while everyone else is outside smoking. They can be fun.

If you just break down most video games, sports, books/movies... to simple points, then they don't really make sense. What's the point in football? It's just a bunch of people chasing a bag of air about, etc?

A lot of these games success is built on the fact that they fairly simple and amusing way to kill time, and the more you play, the more you get out of it and want to play more, to complete collections and quests for simple rewards. The companies behind them have invested a lot of time and money into this, and that people want to pay them for it... Kudos.

Would I ever pay cash to buy "farm cash"? Never. Then again, would I ever pay cash to watch a bunch of over paid, testosterone filled morons try to kick a bag of air into a net, only to take it out and start again when someone finally manages to catch the pesky ball? No.

That a lot of people want to spend a lot of time and money on these things as a way to pass their time and entertainment, is up to them. Most of them probably think that it's a waste of time coming onto sites like this and writing comments that no one really cares about and have no real effect on the world, and the people who do are pretty moronic too.


RE: Unbelievable!
By Uncle on 4/14/2011 1:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
YES


How can Facebook create a profile without you?
By Senju on 4/14/2011 12:00:27 AM , Rating: 3
What does that exzactly mean?




RE: How can Facebook create a profile without you?
By Fritzr on 4/14/2011 12:12:45 AM , Rating: 2
In the context I think he means the credit bureaus. The implication of the last paragraphs is that credit bureaus will use Facebook as part of the data used to calculate credit score. If you don't have a Facebook profile for them to use, they will create one and insert whatever info they have regardless of accuracy.

It could be done by any third party that has enough info about you to populate a basic Facebook page. The warning in the article is to create the profile yourself so you control what is on it.

It could even be done by Facebook as a courtesy granted to partners generating revenue for Facebook.


By bigdawg1988 on 4/14/2011 2:05:59 AM , Rating: 2
Now what the hell kind of credit worthiness is determined by a face book page? Damn, can credit bureaus get the any more evil? I probably shouldn't even write this, they'll probably lower my credit rating down to single digits....


By TSS on 4/14/2011 9:30:44 AM , Rating: 2
I can hardly call the credit companies evil when their just jumping on the bandwagon everybody else has already jumped on to. Employers have been checking out applicants facebook or comparable social media pages for years now, just to pick an example other then the classic personalized ads, so why shouldn't credit agencies?

It's been said a thousand times but it cannot be said enough. Don't put anything online you don't want other people to know, or aren't willing to stand and fight for. That may still seem exadurated now, but it was alot more ridicolous a few years back, and it'll make alot more sense a few years into the future. Try to think ahead.


RE: How can Facebook create a profile without you?
By AntiM on 4/14/2011 9:31:14 AM , Rating: 2
I think that if this happens, the lawsuits will start flying. I also predict that FB will eventually die a slow death like AOL did.


By kleinma on 4/14/2011 10:38:16 AM , Rating: 2
I agree... nothing lasts forever, people will get tired of airing their entire lives to advertisers on facebook. They simply aren't wise to it now, but once there is some sort of massive data leak, followed by the scary news coverage and tv documentaries on 60 minutes about how your identity is no longer yours, people will back off of facebook. Selling your soul is not worth whatever it is facebook offers.


By Dr of crap on 4/14/2011 10:43:27 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but I can't see anyway that your credit score will be tied to a Facebook page.
If you do not incage in any game ply, or post any messages, what credit / personal things can a credit scoreing company get from that?

This is just brainstorming to get a reaction and get people thinking to maybe make it happen.
It won't!


By augiem on 4/14/2011 2:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
If FB can ride the wave a few more years, they could easily mutate and go off in all kinds of random directions like Google did. Although the most likely course seems to be yet another advertising company... yecch...


RE: How can Facebook create a profile without you?
By augiem on 4/14/2011 1:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think the guy is trying to get at the idea that a universal online identity is coming and he sees it as Facebook. I doubt FB'll be it, but they are branching out into other areas like universal logins, now FB cash, it's not too hard to see it also growing to handle transactions like paypal, etc.


By augiem on 4/14/2011 2:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
I should clarify... Online identity being your primary identity you use to interact in the virtual and real world when everything out there we interact with is IP connected.


By MrTeal on 4/14/2011 12:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
And people wonder why I won't download the FB mobile app when it asks for access to my contacts, accounts (including passwords) and GPS location.


made for them?
By rika13 on 4/14/2011 4:31:48 AM , Rating: 2
Threatening people to join or have profiles made for them is probably illegal. The fact they allow such to occur means they are an accoplice to identity theft and libel and the statement of such would be openly conspiring to commit such acts.




RE: made for them?
By augiem on 4/14/2011 2:07:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, credit bureaus make profiles for every one of us without our permission. There's nothing illegal about it.


RE: made for them?
By augiem on 4/14/2011 2:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if there is something illegal about it, the credit beureaus are getting away with it anyway...


Flash
By B3an on 4/14/2011 7:15:22 AM , Rating: 1
This just points out how massively important Flash is, as obviously Farmville uses it. And how much of a retarded decision it is for Apple to not allow it.
But then if all the iSheep are busy playing Farmville for hours they wont be buying other cr*p from Apples store. And lets face it, Apple users are normally the kind of morons to spend money on something as pointless as Farmville.

I've always said this is the main reason why Apple do not allow Flash.




RE: Flash
By FITCamaro on 4/14/2011 9:51:52 AM , Rating: 2
Apple doesn't allow flash because Adobe won't let them control it.


RE: Flash
By Azethoth on 4/15/2011 4:29:02 AM , Rating: 2
All that + Apple does not allow it because it is crapware that drains your phone battery and there is nothing you can do to fix the situation. Sometime this year I hear flash will finally get gpu acceleration etc which may change Apple's mind. That still leaves the basic crapware that is just a giant security hole that again, you cannot do anything about.

I hope HTML 5 kills off this monstrosity soon. Or failing that, Google makes their flash version open source and it gets shoved into webkit.


RE: Flash
By B3an on 4/15/2011 6:47:05 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Apple does not allow it because it is crapware that drains your phone battery


And have you seen Apples HTML5 demos running on an iPad or iPhone? single digit frames per-second plus 100% CPU load. Yet Flash is the batter drain right? If you think HTML5 animations, that are not even 1/4 as complex as Flash animations are not going to drain the batter just as fast then you're an idiot. Playing video is another example... in HTML5 or Flash it's going to drain the batter just s fast.

HTML5 will never kill off Flash. It's vastly more capable and both are suited for different things.

People like you are just morons. Or as a Google Chrome dev put it:

"It's pretty clear that HTML + JS (+ CSS, + WebGL, +++etc.) is not a replacement for Flash at the moment, due to capabilities, development tool quality, browser distribution, etc.
Frequently the two are not trying to solve the same problems. I think people who play up the "OMG HTML5 is teh Flash killz0r" angle are naive or ignorant."


Sad comparision:
By Joz on 4/14/2011 11:39:06 AM , Rating: 2
""Apple retail stores do $2400 per square meter of floor space compared with Tiffany's which does $700 per square meter per day," said Rutkowski.""

Of course the square meter for Apple stores is HIGHER then the comparatively LARGER square footage Tiffany's store.




RE: Sad comparision:
By Azethoth on 4/15/2011 5:34:16 AM , Rating: 2
1) Both figures were in square meters, including in your quote. Meter vs foot is just in your imagination.

2) Beyond that both store sizes are quite comparable with Apple stores averaging around 4500 or so + 1500 or so storage and Tiffany at up to 4500 or so.

So, pretty valid comparison, especially since in commercial retail the only thing that matters is cost / area and revenue / area.


This guy is a moron
By troysavary on 4/14/2011 11:40:20 AM , Rating: 2
How the hell do these "analysts" get to keep their jobs? They are always making non-sense predictions like this. So Facebook has 600 million account? How many of those are duplicates, fakes for the purpose of trolling, account made for pets, children, etc? So this alone cuts down that number, but for arguments sake, lets assume every one of those 600 million is a unique adult. Then let us assume that every single on of those users purchases $100 worth of Facebook credits on average. (Again, highly unlikely, but for aguments sake assume it is true.

After all these assumptions highly in favour of this dude's prediction, you still have only 60 billion in Facebook bank deposits. I am no expert on banks and their assets, but I am pretty sure $60 billion is not enough to make you number 1.

I also do not believe for one second that Farmville is valued at $12 billion. Where does he get this number?




RE: This guy is a moron
By Azethoth on 4/15/2011 5:21:33 AM , Rating: 2
For arguments sake, lets imagine you read and comprehended the article. This would lead you to know that Facebook has 600 million active users. Whats an active user? Well you could Google it or just know that for social applications it tends to be unique active users in a one month interval. They also tweek this number over time to cut out frivolous counts. So for instance liking and disliking things while in another app does not count. You need to actually be in Facebook itself.

So for World of Warcraft its over 12 million, and for Facebook, the big daddy of social networks, its over 600 million and still growing.

Bank of America: $2,268,347,377 in assets, $683 billion in deposits (quick and dirty googling). So Facebook is not going to exceed their assets in like a gazillion years. Deposits though is another matter. From your calcs it would take 10 years. Less as their user base is still growing. More googling yields a penetration rate of 30% of a given population (developed). So eventually (assuming no killer app on their platform) we are looking at 2-3 billion users.

Meanwhile, 1 year of $60 billion puts them in the top 20 US banks though. 2 years top 10, 5 years to get into the top 5.

So the analyst is roughly right but not necessarily about the time-scale. On the other hand, Facebook getting better at making money works in his favor. BoA is severely limited in how much they can grow in comparison.


WTF?
By gevorg on 4/27/2011 6:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
"Why is it important to have a profile?" said Rutkowski. "They are going to start using that to determine what your credit worthiness is. By the way, if you don't have a profile they will make one for you , so it's better for you to create it and manage it than them."

ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME!!!




POWER HORSE!!!
By GuinnessKMF on 4/13/2011 11:02:45 PM , Rating: 1
Like a regular horse except nuclear powered!




"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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