Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Social Gaming Chart - September: DAU is dead, long live MAU.

Recently, I've become suspicious of the data I've been getting from Adonomics, as well as some of the other analytics sites that provide daily active use data. I've confirmed this with a couple of other people in the space, so for the immediate future, I've decided to base my insights on Facebook's monthly users count. Fortunately, Myspace also provides this data. And monthly users is a standard metric used on the internet as a whole so we can make better cross-comparisions between properties on and off the socnets.

Here's an updated list of the top ten games on Facebook according to MAU.

1. (Lil) Green Patch - Ashish Dixit and David King. 6,104,887 monthly active users.
2. Texas HoldEm Poker - Zynga. 5,196,593 monthly active users.
3. Owned! - 4,417,398 monthly active users
4. Friends For Sale! - Serious Business. 3,653,035 monthly active users
5. Who Has The Biggest Brain? - Playfish. 3,558,737 monthly active users
6. Bowling Buddies - Playfish. 2,842,029 monthly active users

7. Mob Wars - Mob Wars. 2,715,222 monthly active users
8. Word Challenge - Playfish. 2,640,206 monthly active users
9. YoVille - Zynga. 1,933,267 monthly active users
10. Speed Racing - TripMonger, Inc. 1,822,869 monthly active users

Now here's the list I compiled last week of the top ten games on Facebook that was based on DAU:
1. (lil) Green Patch
2. Texas Holdem Poker - Zynga
3. Friends For Sale - Serious Business
4. Owned - Coolapps/
5. Mob Wars
6. Word Challenge - Playfish
7. Bowling Buddies - Playfish
8. Who Has the Biggest Brain? -Playfish
9. Speed Racing - Rockyou
10. Mindjolt Games - Mindjolt Games

As you can see the lists are VERY similar, enough so that I'm happy just to toss DAU under the train and rely on Facebook's monthly numbers.

1 million monthly users = hit game

Looking at the data, over 21 games on Facebooks have over a million monthly active users. I've decided to arbitrarily make that the threshold definition of a hit game.

(lil) Green Patch is #1????

Amazingly, a simple gifting app with extremely lightweight gameplay has bested the efforts of all the major social games companies. Some would argue that (lil) Green Patch isn't even a game. Tomorrow, I'm going to talk about the power of gifting in my next installment of "How to Make a Successful Social Game". Unfortunately, this entry won't be as controversial as the last one.