Thursday, February 21, 2008

As Promised: The Demographic Breakdown of the Top Three Game Developers on Facebook

Note 1: I spoke with Shervin Pishevar, CEO of SGN a few hours ago and he confirmed the numbers for SGN were correct.

Mark Pincus also contacted me to let me know that Zynga had 1.4 million daily active users. One million from the games on Zynga, and an additional 400,000 from the CLZ acquisition. The apps from the CLZ aren't games, so I don't count them, but 1 million DAU seems to put Zynga well ahead of other game developers in terms of reach.

Note 2: My demographic information does not include the 13-17 range. I suspect Developer Analytics can't collect it due to Facebook's privacy policy. Sorry about that, I recognize it's a very interesting demographic, especially for people moving onto the Myspace platform.

Note 3: Regarding overlapping users. According to Developer Analytics, none of these games have more than 20% overlapping users (even within their own network) with the exception of Vampires and Zombies (38% overlap) and Attack! and Triumph (also weirdly 38%). I find this very interesting and surprising, I expected a lot more overlap. I should probably look at the overlap question in a future post.

The Takeaway:

SGN games attract an overwhelmingly male audience. They tend to skew slightly younger as well, with the exception of Pirates which is only ~5% of their total audience. I believe this is due to their content: fighting (Fight Club), medieval strategy (WarBook), and car racing (StreetRace) are all genres that historically have skewed male. Jetman, well...I'll let someone else figure out Jetman.

Zynga also attracts many more men then women, with the exception of Scramble which is the only game among the top three developers dominated by women(63%). I think Zynga's male leaning can also be attributed to content, strategy games skew male. However, card games as a category tends to be more gender-balanced, though not necessarily when it comes to gambling type games like Poker and Blackjack. The age of Zynga players is spread more evenly among the three age segments, but with ~50% in the 22-25 age bracket.

Blake Commagere's Monsters games also have ~50% of their users in the 22-25 age bracket. They also have a fairly even male-female ratio. The outlier being Slayers with an only 23% female audience. I believe Slayers was the last Monsters app to be release with a tagline about slaying those annoying monsters. For the female audience, slaying isn't as fun as infecting? Somehow I think it comes down to the simple fact that infection is primarily a social activity, but slaying is a perceived as a violent activity. If anyone has thoughts on this please leave them in the comments.

Points to ponder:

  • Word games appear to have the highest percentage of DAU: Zynga's Scramble (15%) and the Agarwalla's Scrabulous (24%). Both have large female audiences compared to other games. So are women overall more active gamers then men? I have some data gathered from the casual games and virtual worlds industries that answers that question, but it'll have to wait for a future post.
  • Why are half of nearly all players of the games listed here in the 22-25 age bracket? Is that Facebook's largest demographic as well? Or is it due to factors that affect most 22-25 Facebookers, e.g. killing boredom at their first real job.

Again, special thanks to the guys over at Developer Analytics for making such a kick-ass product.