Kristian Segerstrale, founder of social game developer Playfish, has stressed the importance of consumer trust in Facebook games if the sector is to continue to prosper, suggesting developers need to monitor excessive player spending.
Segerstrale’s comments came in his keynote at today’s Evolve conference in London and in the aftermath of the BBC’s Panorama exposé on gaming addiction. He admitted that in some cases gamers could run up huge bills on virtual goods but added: “it's so obviously in the self interest of the industry that I'm not too concerned about it.”
“The early days of Facebook games were characterised by issues with scams, spams and privacy,” he said, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz. “But as the industry matures, building consumer trust is key. It's not good for anybody to spend £1000 in their game then be caught by their mum and end up on the front page of the Sun.”
Segerstrale believes the industry needs “to ensure that you don't end up in situations that are ultimately no good for the welfare of the player. If we try and over-optimise by betraying consumer trust we're going to be less successful as an industry.
"I think it comes back down to responsibility. Responsible developers across the board need to be monitoring their players' spend levels."
Evolve in London is a day-long conference focusing on how to develop games for new platforms, technologies and markets. Segerstrale opened proceedings with a keynote titled “Social Gaming: After the Revolution.”