According to Inside Social Games‘ blog (a bible for social game metrics for those in the know), there was a drop in traffic for the top 25 games on Facebook in Feb. While the size of the drop is not significant (for example, Zynga’s FarmVille dropped merely 210,460 monthly average users (MAU’s) from a total of 82,794,001 MAU’s, the fact that over 14 games in the Top 25 dropped substantially is significant.
What’s happening, you ask?
The obvious answer is that this is a result of Facebook much ballyhooed removing third-party notifications in the user’s feed. This was to be expected as developers lose a way to spread their games for free virally through Facebook and scramble to figure out how to leverage new features within Facebook to communicate with users (for example, collecting email addresses).
Other explanations could be Facebook game fatigue (has social games “jumped the shark) or that there are so many new games coming out on Facebook now, the game players attention is spreading thin (more games, not necessarily more gamers).
Of course, one month of declines does not spell Armageddon for game developers. As Inside Social Games points out, many new games are growing and it’s just one month. If we saw declines like this over the next month, and the next one, and the next one…well, then it may be time to head for the hills if you are a venture capitalist that just invested its fortune in one of many social game companies out there.
For more details on who are the winners and losers in February, check out the full article on Inside Social Games.