The last week has seen Zynga’s growth slow from last weeks torrid pace. In total, Zynga MAU growth dropped to an annualized rate of 22% last week, from over 100% the prior week, the slowest growth rate since the week ending March 27th.
All of Zynga’s growth came from the remarkable rise of Treasure Isle, which grew by over 45% in just one week, to 21.1mm MAUs, blowing by long time stalwarts like Zynga’s Fishville and Crowdstar’s Happy Aquarium, to become the 5th most popular game on the Facebook platform. While we are stupefied by Treasure Isle’s rapid ascension in to the pantheon of widely played Facebook games, we continue to note concern over the weekly drop in MAUs in every other major Zynga game. It took the miraculous growth of Treasure Isle to offset the continued drop in Farmville (-900k), Caefeworld (-1mm), Mafia Wars (-1.1mm), Fishville (-900k), and the more modest drop offs in Petville and Texas Hold Em.
Of note is the modest drop off (-0.3%) in total MAU’s for the Top 10 Facebook game developers, the first drop since we started covering Zynga. While Zynga, EA (+1.2mm MAUs) and Playdom (+1,1mm MAUs) all grew the base of MAUs, it was not enough to offset large drops by Mindjolt (-2.8mm) and Crowdstar (-1.5mm), as well as smaller drops by PopCap Games, CountryLife, SlashKey and MeteorGames.
While we find the weekly data very interesting, we don’t extrapolate the data to divine any great insights. We remain in the embryonic stage of the biggest transformation in gaming in a generation, and use the weekly gyrations as context in which to understand the bigger picture.
Lastly, we believe last weeks announcements at F8 about the Open Graph place Facebook’s world conquering ambitions in plain view for everyone to see. While these ambitions have been apparent to anyone who closely follows the company, the rest of the world is now attuned, and many are scared for competitive reasons or due to privacy concerns, . While the power that will reside with Facebook scares many, including us, SecondShares believes the deeper adoption of the social web is a massive positive for the social gaming community, including Zynga.
At the very least, things are never dull.