Facebook’s recent policy changes to notifications and requests are playing havoc with the site’s top games. No longer able to tap into the free viral advertising they once enjoyed, Facebook games like Zynga’s FarmVille, Playfish’s Pet Society, RockYou’s Zoo World, and CrowdStar’s Happy Aquarium all lost millions of Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in the month of May.
Just how bad was it? The chart below, which is part of a report released by SecondShares, shows that all of the top social game developers on Facebook – except for Playdom by a very narrow margin – lost users:
Zynga alone lost 26.6 million MAUs across all of its games, which represents 10% of its entire userbase. FarmVille alone lost more than 7.7 million MAUs.
While Facebook’s removal of notifications is an obvious reason for the decline in the number of users of so many of these games, InsideSocialGames also suggests that age also plays a factor:
“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,” notes reporter Christopher Mack.
The good news is that not all Facebook games are struggling. Playdom was the only big developer to actually gain MAUs, thanks to the soccer app Bola and the village building sim Treetopia.