Zynga’s simplified card game, Poker Blitz, is the first it has launched on Facebook since PetVille at the beginning of last December. PetVille mimicked a string of other fall launches, including Café World and FishVille in that they were all simulation games that grew into the millions of monthly and daily active users in a matter of weeks.
Poker Blitz is on a different trajectory, as you can see from our data-tracking service, AppData — this is significant for any Zynga rival building a card game, as the success of this app could affect their app’s traction.
Besides being an experimental-seeming throwback to Zynga’s early hit on Facebook, Texas Hold’Em Poker (now called Zynga Poker), it is not growing nearly as fast. It launched on the 18th, exactly a week ago, and except for a big day on Monday, it appears to be gaining less than 200,000 monthly active users a day. Today it has 750,000 MAU and about a third of that in DAU — although the game is so new that we’ll need to wait at least a few weeks to see what DAU will sort out to be, long-term.
So what’s going on? Zynga has at points been cross-promoting the game in its toolbar on its other applications, and it appears to have been running some ads, although it’s hard to tell how widespread either efforts currently are. We’re not seeing either, currently. Perhaps Zynga is still tweaking things, or there are other technical factors affecting it? The Poker Blitz Page posted the following note to fans on Monday: “Facebook is currently experiencing some issues that may prevent you from loading the game. Thank you for your patience, we’ll get you blitzin’ as soon as possible!”
Within the same hour that day, the company posted a similar note to users on its hit game FarmVille: “If you are unable to load FarmVille from your Facebook page, you may try to launch from www.FarmVille.com. Until the technical issues are resolved, we strongly advise that you do not accept gifts as there is a chance that they will be lost. Please know that we have temporarily disabled withering during this time.”
So, stability problems — at least partially on the platform, according to Zynga — are affecting Poker Blitz and other games. Whether or not Poker Blitz is growing slowly for other reasons, Zynga may have put the breaks on all promotion until it feels it can keep the game online consistently.