Inside Social Games’ Top Ten 2011 Facebook Games by Popularity

As 2011 winds down, we’ve compiled this year’s Facebook games reviewed by Inside Social Games and measured their performance on AppData, our data tracking service.

Below are 2011’s top ten winners, defined for the purposes of this report as 1) Facebook games that officially launched between the start of the year and September 2011, which 2) have the highest current number of monthly active users with 3) current retention rates (DAU as a percent of MAU) of 20% or higher. This list only includes games reviewed by Inside Social Games during that period. Note that these factors distinguish our list from the top 2011 games rankings published by Facebook, which were compiled using a mix of active user counts and user reviews.

10 — Collapse! Blast: 240,000 DAU, 1.2 million MAU
GameHouse’s match-3 puzzle game launched in late July, reached a peak of about 1.25 million MAU before the end of August, and has maintained close to that level of users ever since.

9 — HotShot: 350,000 DAU, 1.4 million MAU

PlayQ’s pachinko-style arcade game that strongly resembles EA PopCap’s download title, Peggle, launched in early May and has enjoyed steady growth and strong engagement throughout its run, with a DAU/MAU rate well above 20%.

8 — GnomeTown: 340,000 DAU, 1.5 million MAU
Disney Playdom launched its fantasy-themed city sim game in July, reached a peak of over 500,000 DAU in September, and has remained close to that level for the remainder of 2011. The game got a significant boost a month or so after launch when the developer added Disney branding to the game’s interface and display ads.

7 — Slotomania – Slot Machines: 1.600 million DAU, 5.5 million MAU
Playtika’s slot machine gambling game actually launched in the final weeks of 2010, but only began showing strong growth toward the middle of 2011. It has maintained strong DAU/MAU rates through the year, even approaching the 30% range for several months.

6 — Zombie Lane: 400,000 DAU, 2.1 million MAU
Digital Chocolate’s zombie-themed RPG launched in March, enjoyed sharp growth from April to June, peaking at about 1.5 million DAU, then began a slow slide of users for most the rest of the year. Its growth finally stabilized around October.

5 — Magic Land: 520,000 DAU, 2.4 million MAU
Wooga’s fantasy-themed city sim launched in August, and has enjoyed strong, steady growth of DAU since then, reaching its current peak this month. A mobile companion game debuted on Facebook’s HTML5-based mobile platform in October.

4 — BINGO Blitz: 880,000 DAU, 2.8 million MAU
Buffalo Studios launched its Facebook-era update to the classic board game around the start of the year, and has enjoyed strong growth and very heavy engagement rates since, with a DAU/MAU rate in the 30-35% range for most of its run.

3 — Gardens of Time: 2 million DAU, 8.5 million MAU

Launching in April, Disney Playdom’s hidden object puzzle game enjoyed sharp growth in its first couple months, a slower growth rate in the next three months, then saw a steady but gradual loss of users starting in September. However, the game’s DAU/MAU rate has remained strong throughout its run, and has fluctuated between 22% and 26% in the last three months.

2 — Diamond Dash: 2.8 million DAU, 11.8 million MAU

Wooga officially launched its arcade-style matching game in March, and has maintained a DAU/MAU rate of about 20% since then. Growth of DAU has also been consistent, with the game reaching its current peak this month. The game went cross-platform on iOS at the beginning of December.