Making Money off the Internet

Many of my Facebook friends play Farmville. I don’t, but others do. Ever wonder how much money they make off of you? This LA Times article gives an estimate. Here’s some data:

  • Social games cost between $100,000 to $300,000 to make.
  • Between 3% and 5% of people who play social games pay money for virtual goods in the game or sign up for advertising “offers” that generate cash for the developer.
  • Farmville is played by about 31 million people every day.

So, do the math: Suppose that that each person who plays a social game generates, on average, a penny a day. Multiply that penny by the number of days in a year, 365, and then by the number of people who play the game daily… and voila: $113 million a year. So add some programmers, and there’s still a tidy profit. Think about that the next time you play.

Of course, you could be like me an just order from Amazon. Those of you, like me, in California: We may need to keep our eyes open. The California Legislature wants Amazon to pay sales tax.

[P.S.: To my Facebook friends who are also on LJ: I did a friend-only post earlier today regarding a situation I would like opinions on. You need to be on a particular filter to read it, but you most likely are (if you are on LJ), so I would welcome your opinion. If you are not on LiveJournal (LJ), create an account. It’s free, and after you create it you can friend me (cahwyguy) and see my occasional friends-only posts that don’t make it to FB. If you are not familiar with LiveJournal, it is a journaling/blogging platform with much better privacy controls than Facebook.]