FarmVille: The Biggest Social Game of 2009, By the Numbers

n102452128776_1831While recent Zynga games have grabbed the headlines this fall — first Café World, then FishVille and most recently PetVille — virtual farming game FarmVille continues to grow by millions of users every month. Here’s a closer look at the stats for this social gaming hit.

As of today, the game has 72.9 million monthly active users, according to AppData, making it by far the most popular game on Facebook. The closest has less than half the number of monthly actives — Café World, at 32.2 million. Put another way, FarmVille is played by more than 20 percent of Facebook’s 350 million users every single month. In the “long tail” of social games on Facebook, it is the “fat head.”

Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that the game also has grown to have the most daily active users of any app — by far. As of today, it has 27.5 million daily active users. Café World comes in a very distant second with 9.62 million DAU. This means FarmVille has a “sticky factor” (DAU/MAU) of 38 percent, which is one of the highest out of any large application that we know of.

While FarmVille was not the first farming game t0 get big on Facebook, Zynga has effectively used various promotional methods, from cross-promotion on its toolbar to ad buys, to make it big. There are still questions about why FarmVille, and not the many other virtual simulation games on Facebook, has gotten so huge.

And, although social gaming insiders usually consider other genres, like role-playing mafia games, to be more lucrative, we can assume that FarmVille is bringing in serious cash with DAU counts this high. Like most other successful social games, this one has been making its money from virtual goods, specifically things like plant seeds and utilitarian items like pink tractors.

Perhaps people really do just like the farming concept more than they like tending virtual restaurants, pets or fish? Or, perhaps next year, we’ll see games in those genres come to match and even surpass FarmVille? “My father-in-law — a farmer — told me five years ago that I should make a farm game,” as Zynga vice president Bill Mooney related at VentureBeat’s DiscoveryBeat event last week. Mooney, a veteran game producer, says he laughed off the idea at the time. But now he’s the general manager of FarmVille, and one of the key people responsible for its success. Maybe, as his father-in-law suggested, social gamers do have some sort of special connection to civilization’s roots.

App Leaderboard
Name MAU↓
1. icon FarmVille 72,898,865
2. icon Café World 32,175,759
3. icon Causes 29,261,811
4. icon Social Interview 27,873,612
5. icon Happy Aquarium 27,405,705
6. icon Mafia Wars 26,815,058
7. icon FishVille 26,186,935
8. icon Birthday Cards 24,957,972
9. icon Pet Society 21,450,666
10. icon Texas HoldEm Poker 20,349,406

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18 Responses to “FarmVille: The Biggest Social Game of 2009, By the Numbers”

  1. Farmville: The Social Game of 2009? - Farmville Secrets Revealed | Farmville News, Farmville Strategy, Farmville Guide says:

    [...] Now one site has put down the gauntlet and has declared Farmville the Social Game of 2009. Inside Social Games says that Farmville currently has 72.9 million monthly active users, which roughly translates to [...]

  2. Juddy says:

    If you’re sick and tired of running around totally broke while other players get barns and greenhouses and the most expensive villa, this information is for you.

    You’ve probably always wondered why you can’t seem to make as much money or level up as fast as the other players in the game.

    Learn more :

    I used to wonder the same thing. I thought,

    “Where are these people making money so fast?”

    “Are they buying it on FarmVille?”

    “What are they growing and selling?”

    So I set out to spy on all the successful players I could find to see just what they did to earn all of their money and to level up so fast.

    Learn more :


  3. Paula says:

    wow, i find it really intriguing that a farm game is this popular. i’m really interested in learning what the attraction is, especially considering the cultural norm that farming is NOT a desirable career option. do people realize that in real farming, it’s hard to make a living, and this is a way to live that farm dream without going broke? i kind of doubt that…

    can you guess the average age of Farmville players? i’m working on a Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development project that targets middle school and high school kids, and i’d like to tap into what appeals to this age group, knowing that this generation is all about social networking.

  4. Say Social Gamers, You Want a Revolution? Talk to Facebook | TriplePoint PR says:

    [...] of 72.9 million million active monthly players on Facebook. FarmVille recently earned the title of 2009’s biggest social game, with over 27.5 million active users logging in [...]

  5. Say Social Gamers, You Want a Revolution? Talk to Facebook | Frisky Mongoose says:

    [...] of 72.9 million million active monthly players on Facebook. FarmVille recently earned the title of 2009’s biggest social game, with over 27.5 million active users logging in [...]

  6. Affaires électroniques › Médias sociaux au service de l’entreprise: Statistiques says:

    [...] Il faut dire que les utilisateurs Facebook passent près de 8 milliards de minutes par jour sur le site, qu’ils publient 55 millions de mises à jour de leur statut, qu’ils partagent 3,5 milliards de contenus par semaine avec leurs amis et qu’ils téléchargent 2,5 milliards de photos par mois.4 Les applications dans Facebook sont un élément important. Parmi ceux-ci notons FarmVille avec proche de 73 millions d’utilisateurs unique. 5 [...]

  7. 2009’s Top 25 Facebook Applications - Anto’s World says:

    [...] reading this article on Inside Social Games, I saw the top Facebook applications of 2009, according to AppData. To no one’s surprise, [...]

  8. This Week’s Headlines on Inside Social Games says:

    [...] FarmVille: The Biggest Social Game of 2009, By the Numbers [...]

  9. Kate says: world won’t open in my facebook and Farmville does open but when I try to click the market icon nothing happens..what’s wrong?? I’m using windows 7, my knowlege of computer is just basic please help….

  10. shelly ann white says:

    click market in farmville and nothing happens…please help< im a noob

  11. Train Sets Come to Facebook with TrainSetGo says:

    [...] building something new for themselves to show off. Already we have seen people flock to customizing farms, restaurants, and aquariums, so why not trains too? Currently, TrainSetGo has about 4,500 monthly [...]

  12. John Mazo says:

    One of the things that proofs that FarmVille developers had a clear monetization strategy is that the game is asking you TO BUY items after 7 minutes of game play. That is remarkable

  13. Zandi Spicer says:

    HEIP, I played Mafia Wars just so I could receive the new flame farm tractors. I was successful in getting my plow, but even though I have reached level 15 in Mafia Wars, I cannot open my Flame Seeder…Help

  14. The Next Big Thing In Video Games Might Be Fear Of Embarrassment | Kotaku Australia says:

    [...] FarmVille PIC [...]

  15. “Ontem fartei-me de apanhar morangos!” | Agulha no Palheiro says:

    [...] outra explicação apontada pela própria Zynga é o facto do jogo ser sobre agricultura e se tratar de algo que faz parte das raizes. Todos têm [...]

  16. The Network Conquest «The Network Conquest says:

    [...] Of course, there’re downsides like fierce competition and a very high risk of depending on the social network T&C policy changes for 3rd parties. But it worth it… Just have a look to Farmville. [...]

  17. vega says:

    hye huw irr u how can i get fram ville …..

  18. Betsy says:

    Am I able to download the farmvillee game to my computer to be played off line? I dont want to join facebook or other sites.

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