Mobile Game News Roundup: Christmas 2014 Edition

My CountryAs we celebrate the Christmas holiday season, mobile developers are hoping to snag a bit of your time with themed content updates in many popular games on iOS, Android and beyond. Here’s a look at just a handful of the updates available, which should offer a little something for every type of gamer.

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Zynga Announces Empires & Allies for Mobile

Empires & AlliesZynga has today announced it is resurrecting and redesigning one of its previously shuttered Facebook games as a mobile experience. Empires & Allies, which was removed from Facebook in 2013, is being reimagined as a new mobile experience, developed using the insights and player feedback Zynga has accumulated over time.

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Zynga Partners with The Killers, Jimmy Kimmel in FarmVille 2: Country Escape

Zynga RedIn celebration of this holiday season of giving, Zynga and Apps for (RED) have partnered with Jimmy Kimmel and music group The Killers for a new charity promotion in FarmVille 2: Country Escape on mobile. From now until December 7, players can stream The Killers and Jimmy Kimmel’s song “Joel the Lump of Coal” for free within the game, or download it to donate to (RED)’s campaign to fight AIDS.

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Apple Launches Apps for (RED) Campaign to Support World AIDS Day

Apple - World AIDS DayIn support of World AIDS Day, Apple has transformed the front page of the iTunes App Store, partnering with a number of developers to highlight (RED)-specific versions of their apps on iOS devices. From now until December 7, 2014, each time a user purchases a (PRODUCT)RED participating app (or in-app content within those apps), 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.

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DataPoint: The Top Facebook Developers

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King leads the pack when it comes to the top Facebook developers. According to AppData, the social gaming company had an average of 93.5 million daily active users (DAUs), giving it over 23 percent of the market in March of 2014. Microsoft had about 26.6 million DAUs in the same time frame with nearly seven percent of the market. It was followed by Zynga (18.2 million DAUs), Spotify (12.4 million DAUs) and Supercell (11.3 million DAUs). (more…)

Zynga’s FarmVille 2 Loses 4 Million DAUs in a Year

DataPoints

Poor Zynga. The once-darling of the social gaming world has been losing users for some time now, while its competitor, King, is on the upswing.

In March of 2013, Zynga’s biggest game was Farmville 2. It had over eight million daily active users (DAUs) at the time, and had 2.73 percent of the Facebook app market, according to AppData. At the same time, King’s biggest game Candy Crush Saga had about 21.5 million DAUs and 7.27 percent of the market.

In a year’s time, Farmville 2 lost nearly four million DAUs, dropping from No. 4 in AppData’s Power Ranking to No. 20. Meanwhile, Candy Crush Saga has held onto its number one spot, gaining over 35 million DAUs in the same time period. Candy Crush now has 15.77 percent of the market, compared to FarmVille 2’s 1.15 percent. (more…)

DataPoint: What Can Zynga Learn from NaturalMotion?

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Zynga’s acquisition of NaturalMotion earlier this year signals a change in focus for the company. NaturalMotion, the U.K.-based mobile gaming company, is best known for its mobile games “CSR Racing” and “Clumsy Ninja.”

Zynga has been seeing major loses on the Facebook platform, so the acquisition could help the company in the mobile space. According to AppData, the number of monthly active users (MAUs) for Zynga’s games on Facebook has declined over 68 percent this year alone. Daily active users (DAUs) have declined almost 67 percent in the same time period. (more…)

DataPoint: Is FunPlus’ Family Farm Zynga’s Next Rival?

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This week brought news that the social gaming company DianDian Interactive, otherwise known as FunPlus, raised $74 million in a Series B round. It’s the largest funding round for a social gaming company in nearly a decade.

FunPlus board member Richard Lim told The Wall Street Journal that the company did not want to do an IPO, choosing instead to remain private. The funds will be used to launch more games, and to expand its offices in Beijing, San Francisco and Vancouver. Although the company is based in China, most of its revenue comes from players in North America and Europe.

The developer’s success is in large part due to its “Family Farm” franchise. According to Mediabistro’s research tool AppData, Family Farm on Facebook has seen about 20 percent growth in both monthly active users (MAUs) and daily active users (DAUs) this year alone. Even though Zynga’s Farmville dwarfs the Family Farm games in terms of users, Farmville’s MAU and DAU have declined 66 percent and 60 percent, respectively. Farmville 2, which has more users than Farmville, has also declined this year: MAUs are down 42 percent and DAUs are down 38 percent.

The games from FunPlus are showing high engagement as well. Family Farm Seaside has a DAU/MAU engagement of over 35 percent, compared to 18 percent for Farmville, and 20 percent for Farmville 2. Family Farm, another game from FunPlus, has a DAU/MAU engagement of 19 percent this year.

Will FunPlus be able to ride its farming game wave to the top like Zynga? Having raised $87 million so far, it certainly seems possible.

For more information about AppData click here, or call 415-230-2558.

DataPoint: Zynga Focuses on Mobile, Playing Catch-Up With King

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Zynga is introducing some of its most-popular games to iOS and Android in a few select markets before officially launching them at the end of June. The social gaming developer is playing catch up with competitor King, which got into the mobile space sooner.

“Did the company miss a beat with the transition to mobile? Absolutely. Are we fixing that? Yes, we are,” CEO of Zynga Don Mattrick told Reuters.

The company’s acquisition of NaturalMotion earlier this year also signals a new focus for the company on mobile.

Even though Zynga has focused on Facebook, King has been outperforming the company there, too. This year alone, King’s DAU/MAU engagement has increased by 17.1 percent, while Zynga’s DAU/MAU is up only 0.7 percent, according to research from AppData.

Candy Crush Saga, King’s most popular game, is up 5 percent in DAU/MAU engagement this year. FarmVille 2, Zynga’s most popular game, has grown 1.6 percent in DAU/MAU engagement in the same time period. Check out a comparison of each developer’s most-popular games, courtesy of AppData:


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Do you think Zynga’s increased focus on mobile will help it catch up to King?

Zynga’s annual shareholder meeting focuses on real-money gaming

Zynga script logoZynga today held its annual stockholders meeting in San Francisco, which heavily focused on the game company’s real-money gaming efforts, an anonymous shareholder told PandoDaily.

Zynga’s shareholder meeting comes one day after the company just laid off 18 percent of its staff (520 employees) and shut down three of its offices — Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York — including Omgpop‘s office. (more…)

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