Top 25 Facebook games of July 2012

June was a lot more active than May, based on the Top 25 Facebook games of July. Although both lists saw more declines than gains, there were more titles with increased traffic than last month and there also were a few new games debuting.

We’ll start by looking at the list of top 25 titles by daily active users, the best way to evaluate a title’s core audience. Four games showed gains over the past month, and five more showed no changes. The largest gain belonged to Bubble Safari, up 5.78 million DAU to 6.7 million. King.com’s Candy Crush Saga is still climbing the charts, up 900,000 DAU. FreshPlanet’s SongPop and Peak Games’s Lost Bubble debuted on the list with gains of 1.78 million DAU and 710,000, respectively.

Zynga’s CityVille and Hidden Chronicles still show the two biggest losses on the list. CityVille was down by 2.2 million DAU, while Hidden Chronicles dropped 1.2 million.

It’s now time to turn our attention to monthly active users, the measure of a game’s overall reach on Facebook. Bubble Safari was again the big winner, gaining 25.6 million MAU and nearly unseating CityVille for the No. 2 spot. Hidden Chronicles also showed significant gains, up by 5 million MAU. Peak Games’s Lost Bubble also debuted on the list, gaining 4.8 million MAU.

The largest loss belonged to Zynga’s CityVille, which dropped 6.1 million MAU. Rovio’s Angry Birds Friends showed the next largest loss, down by 4.2 million MAU.

All data in this post comes from our traffic tracking service, AppDataStay tuned next week for the beginning of July’s Top 25 gainers and losers, when we look at the continued performance of games that appeared on the top 25 DAU list.

CityVille and Words With Friends this week’s gainer and loser among June’s Top 25 Facebook games

June is winding down, meaning it’s time to look at the top games from our June Top 25 Facebook game list.

The games at the top of the list have huge numbers of daily active users, but many of them are separated by such large gaps that significant traffic changes may not change their position much (if at all).

Here’s what we’ve covered so far this month:

  • June 7, 2012: No. 25 (開心水族箱) through No. 19 (Empires & Allies)
  • June 14, 2012: No. 18 (Slotomania) through No. 13 (Candy Crush Saga)

We were unable to look at No. 12 through No. 7 last week, but this week we’ll  look at No. 6 through No. 1.

6. FarmVille

Zynga’s FarmVille continues to lose traffic, down from 4.2 million daily active users to 4 million, though it’s fallen as far as 3.8 million this month. While this isn’t too significant a loss, FarmVille’s numbers are a far cry from its March 2010 of 30 million DAU. Granted, Facebook’s game scene was very different two years ago, and success on that level is all but impossible for developers to find these days.  Earlier this week at the Zynga Unleashed event, it was revealed that FarmVille 2 is coming; this news could be renewing interest in the game and giving it the recent traffic boost over the past few days. Still, if FarmVille’s numbers fall back to 3.8 million DAU or lower, the title could be in danger of falling out of the top ten games on July’s list.

5. CastleVille

CastleVille actually showed some small but lasting gains for the first half of June, climbing from 4.6 million DAU to 4.8 million before starting to drop. Since the start of June, the game’s fallen as far as 3.9 million DAU, but is now sitting at the 4.1 million mark. CastleVille peaked soon after its launch, hitting 8.5 million DAU in December 2011. The game’s been gradually losing traffic since then, but it’s possible CastleVille will stay in the top five games next month since CityVille seems to be losing DAU at a much faster rate.

4. CityVille

CityVille’s numbers are still dropping at an accelerated rate, falling from 5 million DAU at the start of June to 4.1 million. Since CityVille peaked in March 2011 with 21.5 million DAU, it’s had traffic steadily bleeding out and seems to have been picking up speed; the game still had 9.8 million DAU at the start of January. With SimCity Social arriving on Facebook this week, CityVille has even more competition for city-building players, and if traffic continues to drop at this rate the game may not even be in the top ten games of July.

3. Bubble Witch Saga

King.com’s Bubble Witch Saga is down from 5.4 million DAU to 5 million, in spite of several small peaks and valleys this month. The game dropped as low as 4.5 million DAU earlier this week, but it’s since returned to the 5 million line. The most popular of King.com’s “Saga” games, Bubble Witch Saga’s been steadily climbing the charts since its debut last year and peaked in May with 6.7 million DAU. Although the its traffic dropped a bit over the past month, July could see a resurgence soon with the upcoming iOS version, which will provide cross-platform gameplay.

2. Words With Friends

Zynga’s Words With Friends saw some significant gains this month, jumping as high as 6.9 million DAU after starting out at 6.4 million; currently, the game’s at 6.8 million. Although Words With Friends still isn’t back to its peak of 7.4 million DAU from early May, it looks like the game will finish June on a better note than it began. The game will probably come in at No. 3 on next month’s Top 25 list, simply because Bubble Safari is set to displace the current leaders in terms of DAU.

1. Texas HoldEm Poker

Zynga’s Texas HoldEm Poker is also finishing out the month better than it began, up from 6.8 million DAU to 7 million. The game managed to temporarily reach 7.2 million last month, a point that it hasn’t returned to since but could very possibly hit again before the end of June. The card game is another long-lasting title in Zynga’s catalog, having originally launched in July 2007, and doesn’t show any signs of falling out of popularity with Facebook users. However, it’ll likely be dethroned as the top game on Facebook in July, since Bubble Safari currently has 7.2 million DAU and looks like it’ll probably hit a higher traffic point within the next few days.

All data in this post comes from our traffic tracking service, AppData. Come back on Monday for our Top 25 Facebook games of July.

Zynga Bingo and Empires & Allies are this week’s gainer and loser among June’s Top 25 Facebook games

Now that we’ve given the June Top 25 Facebook list time to breathe, it’s time to start looking at the traffic patterns of the games that appeared.

Counting down from No. 25 on the list, we examine the behavior of six or seven games each week. When we do this, we look at a game’s daily active users — as that’s the best way to measure an app’s core audience — and predict how these traffic changes will affect a title’s position on the next month’s Top 25 list.

For the first week of June, we’ll examine No. 25 through No. 19.

T23. 開心水族箱

Happy Elements’s Chinese language aquarium sim 開心水族箱 (“Aquarium Open Heart Box”) managed to stay on our list, although it dropped five spots from May because its traffic declined by 200,000 DAU to 1.3 million. The 2009 game has bounced between 1.3 million and 1.6 million DAU, but the erratic nature of these changes makes it difficult to predict if 開心水族箱 will gain enough traffic to move it up the chart in July. If the game stays at 1.3 million DAU, this may not be enough to keep it on our chart next month, depending on minimum DAU requirements.

T23. DoubleDown Casino

DoubleDown Interactive’s Doubledown Casino is up from last month’s 1.3 million DAU to 1.4 million. The game has been holding steady around 1.3 million DAU since December 2011, and peaked at 1.5 million in March. DoubleDown Casino’s growth slowed down after DoubleDown Interactive was acquired by International Game Technology in January; if traffic doesn’t begin to significantly improve and minimum DAU increases, it’s possible the game might be knocked off June’s list.

T23. Empires & Allies

Zynga’s Empires & Allies is staying at 1.3 million DAU, but it seems like only a matter of time before the game’s traffic takes another hit. Over the past month, the title has dropped by 200,000 DAU from 1.5 million to 1.3 million, in keeping with the average traffic loss since January. When the game launched a year ago, it quickly peaked at 7.7 million DAU and began losing users shortly after. If the traffic pattern holds true, Empires & Allies probably won’t appear on July’s Top 25 list.

22. Top Eleven – Be a Football Manager

Nordeus’s Top Eleven – Be a Football Manager continues its steady growth, jumping up another 100,000 DAU to hit a new peak of 1.5 million DAU. Since the game launched in May 2010, it’s been steadily gaining traffic, but the numbers began to dramatically increase in January. Since then, Top Eleven has gone from 1 million DAU to its current level; these increases were coming at a rate of approximately 100,000 DAU every six weeks, but the timetable looks to be speeding up as of late. If the game sees another gain before the end of June, it’s entirely possible it’ll move up a few spots for the July Top 25 list.

21. Marvel: Avengers Alliance

Disney Playdom’s Marvel: Avengers Alliance climbed four places from its May Top 25 debut, no doubt helped by the record-breaking success of “The Avengers” movie. Now that “The Avengers” isn’t quite dominating the box office any more, growth seems to be slowing down and the game’s actually down from its 1.6 million DAU peak to 1.5 million. This could be a temporary drop, though, as next month will see “The Amazing Spider-Man” hit theaters. No plans have been announced for Marvel: Avengers Alliance to include tie-in content to the upcoming film, but Spider-Man is a playable character in the game. This will likely generate a fair amount of user interest. Marvel: Avengers Alliance could go either way now, but if “The Amazing Spider-Man” does manage to increase traffic then the game will probably move up a few spots next month.

20. Bubble Island

Wooga’s Bubble Island looks like it’s starting to recover from last month’s traffic drop, having gone from 1.7 million DAU to 1.8 million. Launched in 2010, Bubble Island peaked in March with 2.8 million DAU but began a steep traffic slide afterwards for no obvious reason. The game seemed stable for most of May at 2 million DAU before suddenly dropping towards the end of the month. This is another title that could go either way next month. If Bubble Island is able to continue regaining its lost traffic it may bounce back up a couple of spots, but if it drops further it will likely be in the bottom five games on July’s list.

19. Zynga Bingo

Zynga Bingo launched on Facebook at the end of May and shot up the charts enough to debut on our Top 25 list. After jumping up this week to 2.2 million DAU, the game has returned to 1.8 million. It’s too early to discern a traffic pattern for Zynga Bingo, but the developer’s games tend to reach a spot within the top 15 titles on Facebook, and social casino games have a habit of maintaining traffic longer than arcade titles on the social network. Expect Zynga Bingo to jump up by at least a few more spots next month.

All data in this post comes from our traffic tracking service, AppDataStay tuned for next week’s continuation of our Top 25 gainers and losers, when we look at No. 18 through No. 13 on the list.

Top 25 Facebook games of June 2012

May proved a slow month for the social game industry, based on our lists for the Top 25 games of June 2012. Both lists saw notable traffic declines, few gains and no new game debuts.

We start with the list of top 25 games by daily active users, which is the best way to evaluate a title’s core audience. Only four games showed gains over last month, the largest belonging to recently-launched Zynga Bingo with 1.8 million DAU. King.com’s Candy Crush Saga continued to climb the charts, gaining 1.4 million DAU (100,000 more than it gained last month). Disney Playdom’s Marvel: Avengers Alliance shows also strong traffic a month after The Avengers hit theaters, gaining 920,000 DAU. Nordeus’s Top Eleven – Be a Football Manager is still making gradual gains, up by 100,000 DAU.

As was the case last month, the two biggest losses belong to Zynga’s CityVille and Hidden Chronicles. CityVille dropped by another 1.4 million DAU, while Hidden Chronicles lost 1.1 million DAU.

Now it’s time to look at monthly active users, which measures a title’s overall reach on Facebook. Zynga’s CityVille lost 6.2 million MAU and its declining traffic caused it to drop to the No. 2 spot on the list. The top spot is now held by Texas HoldEm Poker, which lost 1.7 million MAU. After CityVille, the largest loss belonged to Hidden Chronicles, which dropped 4.3 million MAU.

Only three games on this list saw gains over the past month. The largest increase was with King.com’s Candy Crush Saga, up by 5.2 million MAU. Disney Playdom’s Marvel: Avengers Alliance grew by 3.5 million MAU. Finally, Geewa’s Pool Live Tour was up by 600,000 MAU.

All data in this post comes from our traffic tracking service, AppDataStay tuned next week for the beginning of June’s  Top 25 gainers and losers, when we look at the continued performance of games that appeared on the top 25 DAU list.

Top 25 Facebook games of May 2012

Both lists for May’s top 25 Facebook games saw two big debuts: The recently-launched Candy Crush Saga is already tearing its way up the charts while Marvel: Avengers Alliance just managed to break in thanks to some impressive user gains.

We start with the list of top 25 games by daily active users, which is the best way to evaluate a title’s core audience. Twelve games were up from last month, with the largest gain going to King.com’s Candy Crush Saga with 1.3 million DAU. Disney Playdom’s Marvel: Avengers Alliance has been steadily climbing the charts and had the second-highest gain of the month with 620,000 DAU. Rovio’s Angry Birds had the third-highest gain with 400,000 DAU. King.com’s Bubble Witch Saga didn’t quite make it into the No. 3 spot like we thought it might, but it still managed to gain 100,000 DAU and move into the No. 4 position.

CityVille and Hidden Chronicles had the largest losses on the list; CityVille was down by 1.4 million DAU, while Hidden Chronicles dropped 1.2 million DAU.

Now it’s time to check out monthly active users, which measures a game’s overall reach on Facebook. CityVille continues to hold the No. 1 spot on the list, with slightly more than 4 million MAU over Texas HoldEm Poker in the No. 2 position. Zynga’s Hidden Chronicles had the largest drop this month, down by 4.7 million MAU, and subsequently dropped from the No. 3 spot to No. 5.

The largest gain belonged to Zynga Slingo with 4.3 million MAU, followed closely by Angry Birds with 4.1 million MAU. Bubble Witch Saga continues to grow, taking third place for gains this month with 2.9 million MAU. Although it debuted on our Top 25 list in the No. 25 spot, Disney Playdom’s Marvel: Avengers Alliance had the fourth-highest gain of the month with 2.1 million MAU.

All data in this post comes from our traffic tracking service, AppDataStay tuned next week for the beginning of May’s  Top 25 gainers and losers, when we look at the continued performance of games that appeared on the top 25 DAU list.

Pool Live Tour and Café World this week’s gainer and loser amongst April’s Top 25 Facebook games

Now that our April list of Top 25 Facebook Games has been published, it’s time to take a closer look at the traffic patterns of each. Counting down from No. 25, we’ll examine six or seven of the games on the list each week and analyze what’s going on with them based on daily active users (the best way to gauge an app’s core audience). For the first week of April, we’ll examine No. 25 through No. 19.

25. Café World

Zynga’s Café World continues to hold steady at 1 million DAU, down by 200,000 from last month. The game came in last this month, but it’s an improvement over March when it didn’t even place. Café World’s traffic has been on a decline since December 2009 when it had just over 10.7 million DAU, and any gains have been small and temporary. The game is still operating on Facebook, but we don’t expect to see it reappear on next month’s list at this rate.

24. Bubble Saga

King.com’s Bubble Saga is the second-oldest of the three bubble shooters on April’s Top 25 list but it’s never dropped below 1 million DAU since its April 2011 launch. The game seems more dated when compared to the polished graphics of Bubble Island and Bubble Witch Saga, but its unique spin mechanics still make Bubble Saga different enough to keep players invested. Currently, traffic continues to oscillate between 1.1 and 1.4 million and at the moment, it seems to be coming out of one of the lower traffic points — so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the game show up on the list again next month. The main obstacle is the rising DAU minimum bar; in March, it was a steep 1.3 million to make the bottom five of our rankings. Bubble Saga’s traffic — even with an increase — may not be enough to keep the game in the Top 25 for May.

23. Top Eleven- Be a Football Manager

Nordeus’s Top Eleven is still going strong with 1.2 million DAU. AppData shows the game’s numbers have gradually increased since its May 2010 launch and in the past three months alone, Top Eleven gained approximately 100,000 DAU a month. Whether or not Top Eleven will appear on next month’s Top 25 is a tough call, largely depending on where the minimum traffic requirement falls. If it stays where it is, Top Eleven’s positioning may not change much, but if minimum DAU goes up another half million, Top Eleven may get knocked off the Top 25.

22. DoubleDown Casino

Even though DoubleDown Casino is enjoying its best traffic ever, growth is slowing down compared to what we saw in summer 2011 when it jumped from 500,000 DAU to almost 900,000 DAU between August and September. The slowdown in growth seemed to occur just after DoubleDown Interactive was acquired in January by International Game Technology; over the past three months, the game’s gained 200,000 DAU per month compared to the 400,000 DAU per month rate it saw before the buy. If the trend continues, DoubleDown Casino might slip a few places in the rankings — but the continued growth of the casino and slots genres on Facebook will likely keep it in the Top 25.

21. Gardens of Time

Disney Playdom’s Gardens of Time saw a 19 percent decline that knocks it down from the No. 19 it enjoyed in March to No. 21 in this month’s rankings. The game hasn’t seen a traffic increase since August, when it peaked at just over 4 million DAU. Since that time, DAU has shrunk 68 percent. The developer doesn’t seem to be investing much in the game’s continued support, having shifted resources instead to spiritual sequels Blackwood & Bell Mysteries and the upcoming Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers. Given these trends and the game’s age, Garden’s of Time doesn’t seem long for May’s Top 25.

20. 開心水族箱 (Happy Aquarium)

Happy Elements’s Chinese language aquarium sim is another game that’s been steadily performing on Facebook for a couple of years. The game launched in 2009 and quickly hit a traffic high of nearly 2.4 million DAU before dropping back to tread water around the 1.5 million DAU mark. Happy Aquarium continues to show small, steady gains and losses, and it’s currently sitting at a lower DAU point. If the game’s traffic starts to climb again, it may actually move up a spot or two on next month’s Top 25 list. The game hasn’t been knocked off the list in the past six months and isn’t likely to be replaced by a similar title, either, so we expect to see it again next month.

19. Pool Live Tour

Even though Pool Live Tour launched in 2009, the game’s traffic didn’t take off until last summer and has yet to show any signs of slowing down. The current DAU numbers are over six times higher than where they were in June 2011. Geewa’s online billiards game held the No. 22 spot with 1.4 million DAU in March, now it’s at No. 19 with 1.8 million DAU. If the trend continues, it could possibly break into the top 15 games on May’s list.

All data in this post comes from our traffic tracking service, AppDataStay tuned for next week’s continuation of our Top 25 gainers and losers, when we look at No. 18 through No. 12 on the list.

Top 25 Facebook games of April 2012

April Fool’s Day has come and gone, meaning it’s safe for us to take a look at the top 25 Facebook games without fear of prank entries.

We start with the top 25 games by daily active users (which is the best way to gauge a title’s core audience), where only seven of the games on this month’s list saw gains. The largest gain belongs to Zynga Slingo at 3.6 million DAU with second place going to Rovio’s Angry Birds at 1.67 million DAU. The former launched in March and the latter in late February, meaning neither game had anywhere to go but up in the early part of their life cycles. King.com’s Bubble Witch Saga, meanwhile, had the third-highest gain of April with 600,000 new DAU, moving up to the No. 6 spot on the list from last month.

The largest losses for the month belonged to CastleVille and CityVille, respectively.

Moving on to monthly active users, which measures a title’s overall reach on Facebook, Zynga’s CityVille saw a repeat performance from last month. Even though the game lost 2.3 million MAU, it had almost 9 million more than the No. 2 game, Texas HoldEm Poker. The largest loss belonged to The Sims Social, which dropped by 2.9 million MAU. This traffic dip is in spite of the recent content expansion that launched on March 21, letting players’ Sims acquire careers.

Almost half the games on this list saw gains in April. The largest gain belongs to Angry Birds, with 16.1 million new MAU. Zynga Slingo wasn’t far behind, gaining 12.3 million MAU. As previously noted, both of these are newer games, so such high gains aren’t too surprising at this point. Bubble Witch Saga and Fruit Ninja Frenzy both tied for the third-highest gains, each earning 2.6 million MAU.

Top 25 Facebook Games of March 2012

It’s getting busy around here: GDC is just around the corner, Zynga has launched its own independent platform, and it’s time for us to take a look at the top 25 Facebook games of March 2012.

We start with the top 25 games by daily active users (which is the best way to gauge a title’s core audience), where just over half of the games on this month’s list saw gains. The largest gain belongs to newcomer Sultan Bubble from Playmonk, which launched in February and is still showing a steady increase of DAU. King.com’s Bubble Witch Saga, which showed the second-largest gain, is also showing steady DAU increase and may very well break into the top five next month if its DAU increase rate remains consistent. The largest losses for the month belonged to CastleVille and CityVille, respectively.

Now on to monthly active users, which measures a game’s overall reach. Even though it lost almost a million MAU, CityVille continues to lead the pack by several lengths. Hidden Chronicles moved into third place thanks to the largest MAU gain of the month. Only eight titles still on the chart lost ground this month, though Adventure World, Ravensky City and Hanging With Friends were all knocked off our rankings entirely. Fruit Ninja Frenzy makes the rankings this month, having grown in leaps and bounds since early February. It’s our second-largest MAU gain on the list, and doesn’t seem to be showing any sign of slowing down.

Looking at the top 25 rankings chart, “top” games now require 1.3 million DAU to break onto the top 25 rankings chart. That’s well up from December, where games needed roughly a million DAU in order to make an appearance; five games meet that number and are sitting just outside of the top 25. What will be interesting to see in the next month is whether or not Zynga’s games show dramatic rank changes, now that the company has launched its independent platform Zynga.com, which could potentially lure players away from Facebook by teasing a faster play experience.

The Top 25 Facebook Games of December 2011

Now that the dust has settled after Facebook’s adjustment to its method for counting active users, we take a look at the top 25 Facebook games going into December 2011.

Note: Because Facebook now rounds traffic to the thousands, our rankings now reflect ties with the letter “T” in the rank field.

We begin with the top 25 games by daily active users, which is the most effective measurement of a game’s core audience. About half of our games on the list saw losses in DAU over the last month, with the largest loss reflected in The Sims Social. That game appears to have reached its early life traffic apex right at the end of September before going into its mature state where traffic declines and the lifetime value of users rises. Note that Zynga’s Mafia Wars 2 technically suffered the “biggest loss” of DAU between November and December as it doesn’t even rank in the top 25 going into this month; on November 1, it would’ve been in the top 10 in terms of DAU. The biggest gainer was newcomer CastleVille at No.2, Zynga’s latest and so far fastest-growing game ever on Facebook while  older game Top Eleven makes its debut at No.25:

Turning now to monthly active users, which is a means for gauging a game’s overall reach, we see mostly overall growth with just nine apps losing ground compared to their November numbers. The Sims Social again sees the biggest loss on the list while Mafia Wars 2 sees such a huge loss, it falls off the list completely whereas in November it would have been in the top 10. CastleVille again makes a strong showing at No.5 while Car Town returns to our rankings after a brief absence:

Other somewhat new notable games climbing the rankings for the past several months are Bubble Witch Saga, Tetris Battle, Words With Friends, and Ravenskye City. Each of these games either launched in the last four months or has spent those last four months scaling steadily to arrive in the top 25.

As for overall trends that we’ve observed in the last several months in studying our monthly top 25 rankings charts, it’s clear that “top” games now need a minimum of around 1 million DAU to place. As few as eight months ago, games could get close with around 800,000 DAU — but now there are five games in the 900,000 range, three of which didn’t make the top 25. Another trend is the relative stability of arcade and casino games. Titles like Slotomania and Diamond Dash seem like they’ll never leave this list no matter how old they get.

Join us toward the end of this month for a look back at the top Facebook games of 2011 as the calendar year draws to a close.

Top 25 Facebook Games for October 2011

The Sims Social comes closer to CityVille going into the month of October on our list of top 25 Facebook games by size. Last month, the game debuted at No.3 in daily active users and No.5 by monthly active users.

There are some newcomers to our rankings this month, but only one of them is a newly-launched game. Zynga’s Adventure World went live in early September while Social Point’s Social Empires and DoubleDown Casino have been around for 10 months or more before finally hitting their all-time traffic highs in the last month. In the case of Social Point, it seems as though the game is benefiting from investor funding closed in July. As for not-quite-newcomers, EA PopCap’s Zuma Blitz returns to the rankings after a brief absence.

A notable absence from our list this month is Gaia Online’s Monster Galaxy. After a long period of sustained growth, the game has declined dramatically in the past two months or so, falling more than 83% across both MAU and DAU in that time period.

These figures are based on October 7, 2011 totals logged in AppData.

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