Thursday, October 14, 2010

Facebook Games

I wonder how many Facebook users have stopped to consider just how much money the writers of the more popular Facebook applications - especially games - are making?
  • Let's assume that just 5% of users occasionally buy 'extras' for their game.
  • Lets assume that they spend just £10 on this per year.
  • Lets assume that the figure of 'monthly active users' you get from the games Facebook website is wildly inaccurate and the true figure is 50% of what is stated.
So here's a list of how much the top 30 Facebook games are making based on those rather conservative assumptions:

£ Earned
1 Farmville 60,343,013 15,085,753
2 Frontierville 31,031,304 4,654,696
3 Café World 22,180,662 3,327,099
4 Mafia Wars 21,793,134 3,268,970
5 Treasure Isle 15,509,210 2,326,382
6 Happy Aquarium 13,052,368 1,957,855
7 Bejeweled Blitz 11,995,628 1,799,344
8 Petville 11,628,197 1,744,230
9 Restaurant City 9,696,574 1,454,486
10 Happy Pets 9135056 1,370,258
11 City of Wonder 8,840,339 1,326,051
12 YoVille 7,579,517 1,136,928
13 Zoo World 7,036,293 1,055,444
14 Fishville 6,873,782 1,031,067
15 Happy Island 6,286,697 943,005
16 Kingdoms of Camelot 5,891,589 883,738
17 Social City 5,575,999 836,400
18 Hotel City 5,246,913 787,037
19 Baking Life 4,904,453 735,668
20 Country Life 4,412,287 661,843
21 Farm Town 4,065,029 609,754
22 Monster World 3,905,525 585,829
23 My Empire 2,819,505 422,926
24 Island Paradise 2,422,170 363,326
25 Tiki Resort 2,364,724 354,709
26 Tiki Farm 1,278,580 191,787
27 My Vineyard 919,963 137,994
28 Zoo Kingdom 727,327 109,099
29 Crime City628,109 94,216
30 Middle Kingdom 378,46356,769

It seems to me some of these games are making a fortune! While they are considered 'free' games, sooner or later the majority of users will buy an item for their game and these repeated purchases quickly mount up until they exceed the value of a game purchased on CD/DVD. Unlike the CD/DVD game Facebook games are in a constant state of development too so there is something new to keep the players coming back.

The question is are we, the users, getting value for money from our games? A quick trip to the user forums of many of these quickly lets you know just how many people are unhappy with them. What amazes me is that people keep playing them! Especially the people who are spending real money. I guess it's a matter of not wanting to waste the money spent already.

Let's look at two examples from these games; both zoos. Zoo World and Zoo Kingdom.
Zoo World is making millions yet go to it's discussion board and you'll find complaint after complaint. The only people answering these complaints, however, are the other game players.
Zoo Kingdom's discussion board is the opposite however. There are few complaints and those that appear are quickly answered by the game developers. Read the comments there and you'll find many end with praise for Blue Fang who developed the game.

So why is it that the positions of these two games are not reversed? It beats me! I do know though that I like the community spirit there so much that I host a Zoo Kingdom Hints & Tips website for it.

It seems to me that those game firms who have not yet caught on to the potential of social media websites for earning money are missing out and if you are looking for a profitable investment a small business just starting the climb up the Facebook games league is worth looking at.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the useful and interesting info in this blog entry. Something else that is related to facebook games is this unique game called Oceanopolis. Watch this video that I saw on YouTube about it to know more about the cute game!