Top 25 Facebook Games for June 2010: Big Titles Continue to Plummet

top25

More than half of the 25 largest games on Facebook lost users in April, but the trend picked up last month.

Is the Facebook platform collapsing? That’s not what the data is showing. Social game developers of all sizes continue to see growth (check out our weekly top 20 lists for more on that).

Why, then, are so many of the largest games losing so many users? One reason could just be age. Almost all of these apps were launched last year. Game lifespan varies depending on genre, quality, the number of updates, and other factors — and some of these titles, like Restaurant City and Farm Town, are more than a year old.

But another factor is obviously Facebook’s removal of notifications at the beginning of March. That channel was a key way that most games grew and maintained user engagement last year. Facebook removed the channel because so many developers used it so aggressively that it became filled with spam. With each change in user communication, developers have to adapt their game design – but it’s often hard to prevent at least some period of traffic loss.

What’s left for developers? Organic growth through news feeds, email and the soon-to-change requests features — and advertising and cross-promotion.

These channels provide slower growth, but are also harder to spam; send too many emails to a user about a game and they’ll filter out the sender.

Facebook’s platform has gone through jarring realignments in the past, and developers are once again searching for new ways to build their businesses. We expect they’ll optimize successfully now, despite the losses.

However, one jarring note is that Playfish’s Hotel City, Playdom’s Social City and Zynga’s Treasure Island — three new hits from the three largest social game developers on the platform — are also registering declines. Because these large developers depend heavily on internal cross-promotion, network-wide traffic declines are also impacting their new app growth. This is also likely driving up the cost of paid acquisition, meaning we could be seeing decreases in the cost-effectiveness of that channel as well.

Here are the highlights for the Top 25 Facebook games for June, 2010:

  • Zynga‘s FarmVille sees the biggest drop yet, losing upwards of 7.7 million monthly active users. With the tremendous amount of marketing being done by the company, however, like partners such as 7-Eleven, it will be curious to see how things go next month.
  • Texas HoldEm Poker moves up to #2, to pass RockYou‘s Birthday Cards. The loss for the former was around 740,000 MAUs compared to the latter’s, 6.3 million.
  • Newer title Treasure Isle gives us a clear idea of how much Facebook’s third-party notification removal has affected player returns. While the game has moved up from #5 to #4, it lost roughly half a million users over the last month.
  • Long running meta-game MindJolt Games jumps back up to a more common local at #8 (up from #13), with the only notable gain this month of over 2.8 million MAUs. Perhaps MindJolt is on to something with meta-titles, but then again, it’s always fluctuated in numbers.
  • Playfish’s (Electronic Arts) Pet Society (16 million MAUs) moves back up to #9 to pass up the two fishy titles, CrowdStar‘s Happy Aquarium (15.5 million MAUs) and Zynga’s FishVille (14.9 million MAUs).
  • Hotel City, from Playfish, and Social City, from Playdom, make another possible example of the third-party notification removal, as these two newcomers from last month see a drop in users at roughly 1.4 and 1.1 million respectively.
  • Of all the losses, PopCap’s casual king, Bejeweled Blitz sees the smallest, coming in at #17 with a 232,146 MAU decline.
  • Farming gives way to happiness as Country Life and Farm Town are beat out by CrowdStar’s Happy Island and Happy Pets, who come in at numbers #18 and #19.
  • And last, but not least, the ninja role-playing game, Ninja Saga makes a reappearance on the charts at #25 with 5,351,082 monthly active users.

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Leave a Reply

31 Responses to “Top 25 Facebook Games for June 2010: Big Titles Continue to Plummet”

  1. Facebook’s High Expectations for Credits Revenue Imply Its Commitment to the Platform says:

    [...] about Facebook’s goals for gaming, given changes it has made to the platform that have led to major recent traffic declines. Yet, if Facebook is planning to make this much money from Credits, the implication is that the [...]

  2. Facebook Changes Contribute to Game Declines; Growth Continues in Other Areas | Official Flaii Blog says:

    [...] Social Games reports there have been some large declines among major games on Facebook, in part due to age but also due [...]

  3. PvE says:

    why is Bubble Island ranked below titles with less MAUs?

  4. Christopher Mack says:

    Ah… yes, that would be because I put the MAU data in the wrong cell…. Bubble Island should have just over 5.4 million MAUs.

  5. Frank says:

    Doesn’t the decline have a lot to do with the fact that there is no more clear game list on facebook? It’s hard to find a place on facebook where they list the available games… only your own games!

  6. FarmVille Loses 7.7 Million Players in the Month of May | Frisky Mongoose says:

    [...] the platform, in terms of the sheer number of users playing games or using apps, and it seems that Inside Social Games agrees with that claim. What’s more, they have released last month’s figures for the [...]

  7. The Sky Isn’t Falling – Zack Hiwiller says:

    [...] Look at the chart here and you will notice a few things: [...]

  8. YDigital :::… » Facebook-Games mit massivem Nutzerschwund says:

    [...] Der Abwärtstrend hatte bereits im April begonnen und sich inzwischen zu einem regelrechten Abrutschen weiterentwickelt. Das mit weitem Abstand größte Spiel ist weiterhin FarmVille. 70,7 Millionen Anwender haben im Mai ihre virtuellen Gärten beackert. Das sind allerdings 7,7 Millionen weniger als im April, so eine Statistik von ‘InsideSocialGames‘. [...]

  9. Facebook Games hemorrhaging – Putting some sense in the insane world of gaming. says:

    [...] original report is here, with a nice little chart showing the deltas of users over the past month. If I’m reading [...]

  10. En baisse sur Facebook, Farmville cherche un relais sur l’iPhone | Actualité Internationale says:

    [...] en moins en avril : Farmville, le leader des « jeux sociaux », a connu une brusque chute de frquentation et ne rassemble plus « que » 78 millions de joueurs actifs dans le monde. [...]

  11. En baisse sur Facebook, Farmville cherche un relais sur l’iPhone | Actualité Internationale says:

    [...] en moins en avril : Farmville, le leader des « jeux sociaux », a connu une brusque chute de fréquentation et ne rassemble plus « que » 78 millions de joueurs actifs dans le monde. [...]

  12. Zero Player Games - порт blog says:

    [...] really likes browser games. You play them for some time maybe and then you abandon them. Facebook-Games illustrate this movement.But what really kicks off are zero player games like ????????, where you really can't do much. [...]

  13. Reviewing Facebook’s Top 25 Games, Part 1 says:

    [...] the way the top 25 games for Facebook for June 2010 can be found here. Tagged with: Facebook • Games  0 Comments Leave A [...]

  14. Farmville, le bonheur dans le pré ? says:

    [...] Zynga & Apple Sources le Monde.fr et http://www.insidesocialgames.com pdf Publié dans Geek | Tags : Facebook, [...]

  15. Lost an eighth » We need a new metric says:

    [...] commonsensegamer.com linking to a story about how changes to the Facebook notification policy have decimated the player numbers for many “games” on the site. Apparently the notifications were the primary viral method of attracting new players to the game.  [...]

  16. Kendall Rankin says:

    Cant believe Country Life is number 20, when it has the best graphics of any game on facebook…

  17. Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog » Blog Archive » Yep, ‘Social Gaming’ Still a Fad. says:

    [...] Yahoo! today there is an article talking about some statistics showing how 23 of the top 25 biggest Facebook games have seen a decline in users, marking a two [...]

  18. 6/11/10 « The DRRAGS Report says:

    [...] not just the everyday ebb and flow of users between games, either. According to numbers from Inside Social Games, 23 of the 25 biggest Facebook games lost monthly average users in June, some by as much as [...]

  19. Top 25 Game Facebook Terperosok di Juni 2010 « Selasar Online|Berbagi tak pernah rugi says:

    [...] ngeTop di Facebook mengalami kondisi yang kurang menguntungkan. Menurut data yang disampaikan oleh Inside Social Games ditemukan bahwa 23 dari 25 game papan atas Facebook mengalami penurunan penggunanya, artinya [...]

  20. The rules of the game: Top Facebook Games Experience Massive Decline in June says:

    [...] of the 25 largest games on Facebook lost users in April, but the trend picked up last month.Source:http://www.insidesocialgames.com/2010/06/01/top-25-facebook-games-for-june-2010-big-titles-continue-… Posted by Frank Denison at 05:57 Labels: facebook, games, massive [...]

  21. New Hires in Social Gaming: Playfish, Zynga, MindJolt & More says:

    [...] the declining numbers on Facebook last month, player-wise, the top social game developers are still making hires left and right [...]

  22. Redes sociais: um negócio de milhões says:

    [...] o Inside Network, uma companhia que se dedica à difusão de notícias e pesquisas de mercado sobre a Plataforma [...]

  23. Meter Expired says:

    [...] circling Facebook like sharks. And now developers/publishers are beginning to find themselves a “day late and dollar short” as Grandmother used to say.   There was a time that Darren over at Common Sense Gamer railed [...]

  24. Top 25 Facebook Games for July 2010 says:

    [...] started this spring, many of the 25 largest Facebook social games continued to lose users through the end of May and on through last month, although there was some [...]

  25. Top 25 Facebook Games for July 2010 says:

    [...] started this spring, many of the 25 largest Facebook social games continued to lose users through the end of May and on through last [...]

  26. Booyah Escapes Facebook Gaming Rut With Nightclub City says:

    [...] significant accomplishment for two reasons: 1) it’s a time when many top Facebook games are losing users, and 2) even so, it’s widely assumed that the Facebook gaming landgrab is over, and [...]

  27. FrontierVille – The Budding Champion of Facebook Games says:

    [...] Top 25 games of Facebook continued to plummet with FarmVille losing 7.7 million players, certainly people are getting bored with the simple [...]

  28. Her says:

    People are on vacations and enjoying the summer weather and are less likely to be on facebook farming or playing and etc during the warmer summer months.

  29. El social gaming no es ningún juego | El blog de Cink. says:

    [...] de juegos Zynga, una cifra que se rumorea que podría llegar a 100 millones de dólares. De los 10 juegos más populares de Facebook, más de la mitad han sido creados por esta empresa, y las intenciones de esta [...]

  30. Adventures in Orange and Gray » Blog Archive » Viral Marketing: Quit Whining, Facebook “Game” Developers says:

    [...] Inside Social Games pro­vides a chart of the top 25 Face­book games in June.  All of them have lost losers since the past month.  Zynga still dom­i­nates the top 10, but their net losses for most of their games are in the mil­lions. The games with the small­est losses include Zynga’s Texas Hold’em Poker, and Popcap’s Bejew­eled Blitz, to which I’ll come back later. [...]

  31. Jeebus says:

    This report is … useless. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that devs like Zynga not only constantly lag out, but have increased the amount of times users have to spam other players to help finish quests and or to get items. There is so many pop up windows in cityville, share your level success, ask for more lights, ask for energy etc… it’s ridiculous. Zynga is one of the worse game developers out their that constantly engage it’s clients into spamming multiple times a day , to users friends for help and or items. Ridiculous. Facebook encourages it. Facebook need to toughen up on Zynga, or remove them altogether. Worse spam dev out their.

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