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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

25 Most Interesting Facebook Games

Developers saw even bigger slumps in April. MAU losses were tremendous across the board. 18 of the current Top 25 experienced a decline, with other factors, like Facebook platform performance issues, also contributing to the problem.

Nevertheless, the industry trudges forward, as five new games also make their appearances on the Top 25 this month — including the tremendously fast growing Zynga app, Treasure Isle. It’s not clear if those apps, or any growing smaller ones, are just gaining users so through cross-game promotions and advertising, or if there is also new organic growth starting to happen.

Facebook and the industry needs to see organic growth of some form if the industry is going to survive. Despite what some developers might say, the company does want social gaming to continue to exist. Among other reasons these games bring users back to the site, and make it more generally interesting and meaningful; they also present a new opportunity for Facebook to monetize, via the company’s budding Credits virtual currency product.

Developers have been nailed hard by Facebook changes over the years, but they have always rebounded back stronger than before. This will likely happen again. But if Facebook sees that the changes stay overly prohibitive of quality user engagement, we expect the company will look for new ways to enable more virality.

Here are the highlights for the Top 25 Facebook Games for May, 2010:

* The titanic FarmVille experienced tremendous player lost this past month. Having lost just over 200,000 players last time, the farming app lost north of 4.4 MAUs this month. The app still sits tight at #1 with 78.4 million monthly active users.
* The classic Texas HoldEm Poker (also known as Zynga Poker) did see a small gain, however, of just over 100,000 players, surpassing the restaurant title, Cafe World, which lost over 2.6 MAUs.
* Perhaps the biggest news on the charts this month is the rise of Zynga’s newest app, Treasure Islewith over 2.2 million MAUs. The game is already #5 on the list, beating out Mafia Wars and becoming the top social game thus far for 2010.
* Unfortunately for CrowdStar, their top game, Happy Aquarium lost another 4.2 million users this past month, as a continuing decline in virtual aquarium app popularity, well, continues. Nonetheless, the happy fish still take the #8 spot over FishVille at #9.
* MindJolt Games’ collection of mini-games within its meta game structure drops from #8 to #13. However, the game still holds over 13.1 million monthly active users, suggesting that meta game apps filled with strong mini-games can still hold their own.
* Joining the Top 25 at #14 and #15 respectively are Playfish‘s Hotel City (13 million MAUs) and Playdom‘s Social City (12.6 million MAUs), showing that games can still flourish despite the declining trend.
* One of the original farming apps, Slashkey‘s Farm Town suffers another drop in the ranks, falling from #16. It now hangs on at #20 with just over 9 million users.
* Playdom sees another victory for their games, as its tropical vacation destination application, Tiki Resort appears for the first time at #23, pulling in around 6.2 million MAUs.
* Finally, rounding out the list at #25, German company wooga comes into play with its simple puzzle game, Bubble Island, garnering just over 6 million monthly active users.


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