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…)

Report: Omgpop shut downs as part of Zynga’s restructuring

Omgpop logoAs part yesterday’s staff purging at Zynga, which saw 520 employees lose their jobs, in other words 18 percent of its staff, Zynga shut down Draw Something developer Omgpop’s office, according to a report from The Verge.

Along with the layoffs, Zynga shut down its Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York offices. But, Zynga New York does include Omgpop, and now former Omgpop employees are making it public on Twitter that they are out of jobs. (more…)

Zynga releases Running With Friends

running with friendsSocial games developer and publisher Zynga today announced the release of its seventh game under the “With Friends” brand, an endless runner titled Running With Friends. The game should be available to download for free from the Apple App Store starting tonight and tomorrow morning.

Set in a cartoon-style re-imagining of Pamplona, Spain, the game puts players into the town’s famous Running of the Bulls Festival. Gameplay is very similar to Temple Run, Vector, Subway Surfers, and other games in the endless runner genre. It’s particular similar to the latter in that the device is oriented vertically, with the camera behind the character, allowing the player to swipe and tap in order to dodge obstacles across three lanes.

While it may be similar to other endless runners, Running With Friends is also adding several new features to the formula to keep it fresh. The social element of games has always been Zynga’s primary concern and Running With Friends is no different, allowing users to do as the title suggests and play with their friends asynchronously. The level for each round of the game is randomly generated, but players who compete with friends will compete over the same randomly generated level. The player who gets the highest score by running farther and collecting more stars, wins.

(more…)

Zynga reveals mobile MOBA game Solstice Arena

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Zynga today revealed its newest core game title, Solstice Arena, a multiplayer online battle arena game for mobile devices from the A Bit Lucky team.

A Bit Lucky is the developer behind games like Lucky Train and Lucky Space, which were shut down on Facebook in September 2012 while the studio continued to work on Solstice Arena. When Zynga acquired the studio, also in September 2012, A Bit Lucky’s employees became a part of Zynga San Francisco and continued to work on Solstice Arena, though little was known about the game at the time.

Today we finally learned that Solstice Arena is a MOBA game, a genre that originated with the popular mod Defense of the Ancients (DotA) for Blizzard’s PC and Mac strategy game Warcraft 3.

(more…)

Skillz brings real-money gaming to the U.S.

skillz-logoReal-money gaming is now reality in the U.S. with Skillz, a first-of-its-kind multiplayer tournament platform, which gives players the chance to compete for real money and virtual currency in mobile games of skill. The platform launched today in beta for Android.

“We’re bringing real-money gaming to the U.S. right now, and we’re the first people to do that,” Andrew Paradise, co-founder and CEO of Skillz, tells Inside Mobile Apps.

Skillz enables games of skill to be played in cash tournaments in 36 states — such as California, New York, Texas and more — as well as virtual currency tournaments in any game worldwide. All a mobile developer has to do to enable cash and free multiplayer tournaments is integrate Skillz’s SDK, which can be implemented in as short as an hour to three work days.

Skillz legal states games of skill

Skillz has come out of stealth with 10 developers with 10 games on board, including Gnarly Games with GnarBike Trials, Spooky House Studios with Bubble Explode, Rocketmind with Big Sport Fishing 3D Lite and more. The first batch of titles run the gamut genre-wise, with genres like endless runners, bubble shooters, mini golf and more.

The obvious question to ask is how did Skillz make real-money gaming legal in the U.S.? The easiest answer is that real-money gaming via a skills competition has been legal for years in most states. First, it’s important to define the difference between a skill versus a chance game. On one end of the spectrum is a skill game like chess and on the other end is a chance game like roulette. The legal definition of a skilled game is if a skilled player predominantly beats an unskilled player about 75 percent of the time. Examples of games of skill where a cash competition is legal include chess tournaments, running marathons, golf tournaments, fishing tournaments, esports tournaments for games like StarCraft 2 and Call of Duty, even the arcade game Golden Tee, and more.

“One of the things we created is a way to statistically verify the level of skill versus chance in a game, and so one of the things we do is plug in these virtual currency tournaments into a given game and then we’ll run virtual currency tournaments and gather data,” Paradise says. “Basically, we can look at how often skilled players beat unskilled players and then determine if a game is skill versus chance.” (more…)

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