Sometimes things fall down because of gravity, and sometimes it happens when they loose the gravity. Earlier this year we heard about the changing trends in the social gaming network, and the boost in their growth. According to a report by IHS Screen Digest, the scenario has changed.
IHS Screen Digest claims that, during the first three-quarters of 2011, the likes of Zynga and PopCap noticed a downward trend in user engagement. This corresponds to decrease in the number of users per day.
The user engagement of top 40 Facebook games has fallen by 1 percent, from 19-20 to 18-19 per cent. Until now the user engagement had been either growing or steady. However, The top 20’s are facing a larger decline i.e. from 18-19 to around 16-17 percent.
“I think we’re seeing two things here,” said Steve Bailey, an analyst at Screen Digest.
Firstly, the extent of competition is greater than ever before, and so more ‘floating’ players are moving on more quickly if they’re not successfully snagged. Games from top operators hit their MAU-acquisition peak very quickly, upon which the battle begins for retention, leading us to the second point: that is, the importance of more effective conversion and monetization of the core audience of a game, an initiative that key operators – including Zynga and EA – seem to be making progress on
Farmville the second biggest game on Facebook is facing the worst drop from thirty to twenty per cent throughout 2011. Bejeweled Blitz, meanwhile, slide down from 35 to 30 per cent in the same period.
Given the age of both of these games, though, this continued retention is an achievement. Big new launches such as CityVille and Empires & Allies haven’t been picking up the slack, at least not yet; it’s still early days, given the potential prospective life spans
Statistically, 2011 has not been an year of social gaming. Seems like causal gamers are finding it hard to keep up their place and hence getting bored quickly. Social giants are experimenting on new ideas but unless they have some novel approach, getting people back to play similar games is not going to work.
Source. Develop Online