Zynga’s acquisition of NaturalMotion earlier this year signals a change in focus for the company. NaturalMotion, the U.K.-based mobile gaming company, is best known for its mobile games “CSR Racing” and “Clumsy Ninja.”
Zynga has been seeing major loses on the Facebook platform, so the acquisition could help the company in the mobile space. According to AppData, the number of monthly active users (MAUs) for Zynga’s games on Facebook has declined over 68 percent this year alone. Daily active users (DAUs) have declined almost 67 percent in the same time period.
King Digital broke 300 million month active users (MAUs) on Facebook this week, according to AppData. That puts the newly-public company at over three times the MAUs of Zynga on the same platform. So far, King’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange has been rocky: At the time of this writing, shares were trading at $19.57, about 13 percent lower than the offering price.
This week brought news that the social gaming company DianDian Interactive, otherwise known as FunPlus, raised $74 million in a Series B round. It’s the largest funding round for a social gaming company in nearly a decade.
FunPlus board member Richard Lim told The Wall Street Journal that the company did not want to do an IPO, choosing instead to remain private. The funds will be used to launch more games, and to expand its offices in Beijing, San Francisco and Vancouver. Although the company is based in China, most of its revenue comes from players in North America and Europe.
The social gaming space is dominated by King and Zynga. As we recently discussed, King’s games alone take up a quarter of the Facebook app market. However, the Barcelona-based Social Point has been growing steadily, and its numbers are nothing to sneeze at.
AppData announced recently that, according to its figures, King looks like it’s here to stay on Facebook. Although we called into question the sustainability of the developer and its most popular game, the data indicates that King is not a one-hit wonder.
According to the announcement, the company now has the top three Facebook apps ranked by Monthly Active Users (MAUs): “King has been the most successful developer to leverage the Facebook app ecosystem to build its business across all platforms.”
Zynga is introducing some of its most-popular games to iOS and Android in a few select markets before officially launching them at the end of June. The social gaming developer is playing catch up with competitor King, which got into the mobile space sooner.
“Did the company miss a beat with the transition to mobile? Absolutely. Are we fixing that? Yes, we are,” CEO of Zynga Don Mattrick told Reuters.
The company’s acquisition of NaturalMotion earlier this year also signals a new focus for the company on mobile.
When King, the makers of the hugely-popular Candy Crush Saga, filed for an IPO last month, there was no shortage of speculation about the company’s sustainability. Even though the game maker racked up $1.88 billion in revenue last year (largely relying on Candy Crush Saga), there were some worrying signs already. Besides the troubling performances of other social-gaming companies like Zynga, King saw its revenue decline by about $20,000 between Q3 and Q4 of last year, while its profits declined by over $70,500 in the same time period.
User interest is still going strong, according to Mediabistro’s research tool, AppData. Candy Crush Saga continues to enjoy phenomenal growth, withFaceook monthly active users (MAUs) up 490 percent this year. Daily active users (DAUs) are up 570 percent this year. Even better news for the company is that DAU/MAU engagement has gone up 5 percent in the same time period, showing that more users are playing the game on a daily basis.
It’s understood that King’s addictive game Candy Crush Saga is the most popular Facebook game, but by looking at daily active user counts (DAU), it shows just how much of a force it is.
With more than 57 million Facebook DAU, Candy Crush Saga has more DAU than the next four Facebook apps — Farm Heroes Saga, Microsoft Live, Spotify and Pet Rescue Saga — according to AppData.
From now on, the AppData monthly leaderboard on Inside Facebook will reflect DAU values. Click below to see which Facebook apps are the most used.
King’s Farm Heroes Saga had a great week, up nearly 250 percent in Facebook monthly active users. It had a huge spike on Valentine’s Day, which could mean singles everywhere logged in for the night — and possibly stayed hooked on the game throughout the week.
WhatsApp may not be well known to U.S. users, but make no mistake: Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of the messaging app is a huge deal. WhatsApp is largely popular internationally, and as Mark Zuckerberg said in a conference call Wednesday afternoon, has the chance to grow past 1 billion users.
WhatsApp has more than 450 million monthly active users — 70 percent of whom are active on a given day. WhatsApp users, some of whom pay a nominal fee to use the app on a subscription model, are growing by 1 million users per day. They send more than 19 billion messages per day and receive more than 34 billion per day. 600 million photos, 200 million voice messages and 100 million video messages are sent through WhatsApp every day.
But AppData’s revenue estimates show just why Facebook acquired WhatsApp. According to AppData’s revenue estimates for the Android app, just 8.2 percent of WhatsApp’s global revenue so far this year has come from the U.S., compared to 73.3 percent in Germany and 18.5 percent in the U.K.