Facebook continues to get the best from its partnership with Zynga. Tekedia has maintained that Zynga is adding a huge value to Facebook.
According to market research firm, IHS iSuppli, Zynga’s latest game, “Empires & Allies,” has accrued more than 40 million monthly active users (MAUs) during its first month. Currently the second most popular app on Facebook, “Empires & Allies” is outperformed by Zynga’s “CityVille,” which has 87 million MAUs, but has recently surpassed another Zynga title, “FarmVille,” which has 40 million MAUs.
“The strong performance of ‘Empires & Allies’ is hardly surprising, given that Zynga’s pre-existing network of titles was already hosting more than 250 million monthly users,” said Steve Bailey, analyst for games at IHS. “With this in mind, luring one-third of the player base of ‘CityVille’ to sample ‘Empires & Allies’ would be sufficient to provide 30 million monthly active users. In terms of debut-month figures, anything less than approximately 40 million MAUs would be below expectations, given Zynga’s capacities for leveraging advertising and cross-Zynga network promotion on Facebook.”
Yet, it is worth knowing that most of these users are not paid users. In its SEC filing as it prepares to go public, Zynga noted that its revenue comes from disproportionally a small percentage of its users. Analysts have noted the slower pace of product introduction by Zynga.
Specifically, Zynga’s release schedule is slowing, and “Empires” is the first Zynga game in more than six months, a far cry from its behavior in late 2009, a period of golden growth that propelled the company to the forefront of Facebook gaming. The role of “Empires” isn’t just to gain traction in an upcoming genre and find a new audience but also to combat churn: four of Zynga’s Top 10 titles have seen significant loss of foothold in the past quarter, and will need to be replaced or refreshed within an increasingly competitive environment. Even with “Empires” performing strongly at launch, Zynga is currently 30 million MAUs short of the 300 million record high achieved by its portfolio at the beginning of the year, concludes the report.