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The conventional wisdom is not to invest in videogames because of its hit-driven nature. Only a handful make money and it’s difficult to predict which will. A company that produced a successful game may never produce another. Like a music band that’s a one hit wonder.

Videogame companies typically make a bad investment, because you want to invest in a repeatable business model. Not luck.

The traditional console games industry has combated that with franchises. Gamers who love a game will remember the brand and are more likely to buy the sequel. Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Madden, etc. are all examples of this.

Unfortunately, this strategy does not appear to work for mobile, casual games. Casual games, by definition, have simple gameplay. Is it possible for a sequel to feel fresh and new, yet still have the same simple gameplay?

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A quick refresher: in December 2012, Facebook created a clone of Snapchat which at the time was growing quickly but still relatively small. Some thought Facebook would crush the little start-up with its version, Poke.

Fast forward to yesterday with Facebook officially pulling Poke from the app store and all but declaring loss in the ephemeral messaging war to Snapchat.

So, this is proof giants can’t beat the little guys right? Innovator’s dilemma and all that?

Well, not quite. As we’ve seen, the product is easily copied. Facebook took just 12 days to develop Poke. But to beat Snapchat you need more than just a similar product.

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