Zynga released its newest entry, PetVille, to its ‘Ville game series at the beginning of December, and the game has been seeing the same sort of results that the developers’ most recent releases have, including Café World and FishVille. The virtual pet-caring game has been out for two weeks and has already boosted its audience by 90 percent, the largest percentage boost of any app this week. It now has 10.3 million monthly active users with 9.31 million joining last week.
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In second place, Birthday Cards continues to prove itself as a useful service for the Facebook community. The Card making/sending app by RockYou! rose 29.4 percent last week, adding 6.6 million monthly active users to a service that 24 million people use every month. However, as we noted over on Inside Facebook, the company has actually built a version of its Zoo World game within this app, which may account for some of the growth.
Note that today’s top 20 list looks at which games gained the most monthly active users in the last week, while our Wednesday list covers the games that gained the most daily active users in the past week. The MAU number shows the long-term trajectory of an app’s popularity, while DAU shows how many people love each game so much that they come back every day; because users tend to pay for virtual goods within apps they come back to every day, the latter number is a better measure of monetization. Also, our Friday list looks the apps that grew by the most monthly active users each week to end with a total of between 100,000 and 1 million — by looking at this lower range, we can sometimes spot smaller apps on their way to becoming hits.
FarmVille, fourth, did just a little better then FishVille fifth, this week by adding 2.1 million new monthly active users, or 3 percent of its total 72.6 million monthly active users. Meanwhile, FishVille grew by 8.19 percent, to end with 26.2 million total monthly active users. Growth has slowed slightly for FishVille compared to its siblings, but is still a top five game this week.
Despite the competition, virtual pet-caring Happy Pets, by CrowdStar, managed to stay in the top five again last week, upping its monthly active users total to 10.4 million, up 28 percent from last week.
All in all, nine of the top 20 games this week are some variation of the pet care genre, whether that pet is a farm or a fish. Second is gift-giving, with three apps — these are not typically games, but the apps’ developers for some reason tend to mark them as games, anyway. Finally, Christmas-themed games barely made it on, with Santa Yourself staying the sole Christmas themed app at 1.3 million users (still, that’s up 68 percent over last week).
Next week, what will happen in the battle of the ‘Villes this month and how will that affect competing pet care games? Will any holiday games come to the forefront of is it a moot point? And will any left field titles break the top 20? Who knows? Feel free to guess.