We are a small developer company planing to create our first social game. Social games look like a promising genre for monetization, but looking at the actual market (dominated by big players) and revenue needed, it actually appears like a very, very risky business, besides games being a hit-business anyway.
costs: 4 devs x 5 months x 3k$ + ads+gfx+sfx+server ~200k$ using an optimistic ARPU of 1$/m, we have to keep about 20k DAU per month for one year
This only sounds viable with a very simplistic (costs!) but engaging game ... and lot of luck.
Are there any examples of fast to develop but successful social games - not necessarily indie - besides games such as card games, casino games? There is Pocket Frogs and Doodle God, which look simple to develop compared to content-rich game like FarmTown, but it seems these are the exception.