Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Are Mobile Game Publishers Doing With Facebook Apps?

Dev Rank = developer's rank in terms of MAU across all Facebook apps. MAU = monthly active users. DAU = daily active users.

In light of all the insanity about Zynga and lots of rhetoric from mobile games publishers about diversifying into social gaming online (er... Facebook games), I decided to take a look at what the mobile guys were actually doing on Facebook. First, let me tell y'all that after spending far too long digging through titles, it's abundantly clear that that platform is jam-packed with even more cr'apps than Android Market. Fortunately, consumers clearly ignore most of this junk... but I'm sure it's damaged overall perception of the product on offer. Many of these are blatant infringements on other folks' IP... which makes me wonder if corporate grown-ups at content owners/creators are really paying enough attention. Also, I've gotta mention that the two sources of Facebook application information, AppData & Facebakers are pretty shoddy (but free). The former seems to have better data, but a super-clunky interface (e.g. search is useless), while the latter is slicker, but with more questionable data. The data here comes from AppData.

So what did I learn? Well, Zynga is still the undisputed king of gaming on this platform, with 49.5mil daily active users of its titles and 217.5mil monthly active users... and despite all the blah-blah not much is happening with the mobile games guys. The only once pure-play mobile publisher that appears to be creating a meaningful presence on Facebook is Digital Chocolate. EA, GameHouse (RealNetworks), PopCap & I-play are probably running these initiatives more as a function of their established online casual businesses, than what they do in mobile. Glu Mobile, which launched its first Facebook title, Atom Blast, last Fall has now apparently bailed entirely from the platform. Meanwhile Hands-On is leveraging its last piece of premium IP, under a pseudonym no less, to try make of a go of it. Is anyone aware of anything else going on out there with the mobile publishers?... let me know. The next question, of course is how much money D'Choc et al are making from this platform... any thoughts? I'm sure it's billions :-P

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