Kongregate is an interesting game portal, somewhat different from the other ones I’ve seen. Its manner of growth, in particular, may be a unique case study.
For starters, I found Kongregate through Facebook. I was playing a very addictive game called Desktop Defense (where you strategically place squirting “cannons” on your desk to eliminate the bugs that way across it) and discovered it was a game hosted by Kongregate.
After I got bored with Desktop Defense (which took quite a while) I went to Kongregate hoping for some more games of the similar nature. I was not interested in poorly made RPGs or arcade games such as brick breaking or bubble popping. I found a couple games of interest on Kongregate and started playing every now and then.
Kongregate, though it is public, is still in a beta phase (according to the website). It’s therefore a great way to observe how the site has been evolving.
And evolved it has. One of the main unique characteristics of Kongregate is that it allows developers to upload their own games. Any revenues generated from banner ads are shared with the developers. As for the banner ads, at first they were ads of other game portals or online games that I had never heard of. Then, Disney starts its Pirates Online ad; now, Verizon has the top ad.
The users of Kongregate (or at least the ones that make use of the chatting function of the game) are mostly high school students between 9th and 12th grades. A lot of them make dumb, irrelevant comments or questions pertaining to the games, but sometimes they engage in heated discussion- as is what happened this afternoon when one user asked another to leave, saying that English was the only language allowed in thqt particular room. A debate soon sparked up, where users were verabally attacking each other, but no one really presented rational evidence. I suppose one suggestion for the game would be to set up a lot of themed channels, because it does seem that the user base is somewhat international.