The hundreds of venture capitalists and investors here at the Montgomery Tech Conference taking meetings and watching presentations would love to buy a stake in the next "Angry Birds" or "Farmville."
Mobile Gaming App Angry Birds has been downloaded a whopping 75 million times and Farmville's parent, 'Zynga' is the ultimate goldmine, valued as high as $9.3 billion.
So what's the next social or mobile gaming leader?
One company drawing a huge amount of buzz here is Cie games, which makes a social game called Car Town. The game is exactly what it sounds like — like Farmville or Mafiawars, but all about cars. The beauty of the business for Cie games, is that Car Town has multiple revenue streams — both virtual goods and licensing revenue from 30 companies with a presence in the game, from Ford to Ferarri. And as CEO Justin Choi points out, selling such premium brands as virtual products allows the company to charge a premium, as much as $40 for a virtual high end car.
Wild Tangent also serves brands that want exposure in social and mobile games — it connects advertisers from Best Buy to Microsoft with more than 100 million social gamers each month. The company acts as a middle-man, putting brands in an appropriate context with the right demographic.
Another hot company here Kabam Games is hoping to cash in by reaching an underserved demographic — hard core gamers. Serious gamers who spend big bucks and spend hours on console and PC games haven't had much to play on social and mobile platforms — those games are mostly light fare. Here Kabam sees an opportunity: its "Kingdom of Camelot" has over 2 million monthly users on Facebook where it's free, charging for virtual goods. Kabam will launch the game and two others as mobile apps next quarter.
This field is only going to continue to grow — already 21 million plus Americans play video game on smartphones. With the explosion of video game and smartphone sales expected this year, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com