Facebook’s Top 5 Games by DAU as a Percentage of MAU

When judging which Facebook games are the most successful, many people look at total monthly active users or daily active users. While both metrics are important, daily active users as a percentage of monthly active users is another relevant metric for ballpark-estimating the retention and monetization rates in social games. Let’s look at the top five games on Facebook by DAU as a percentage of MAU.

As supported by data from Inside Virtual Goods, games with a DAU/MAU of 20% or higher have strong user retention and monetization rates. The most successful Facebook games tend to maintain a DAU/MAU somewhere between 10% and 20%, while also enjoying a large total userbase in the millions. There are a number of games with a far higher DAU/MAU percentage, some even exceeding 50%, but do not enjoy large audiences. Even so, these games are likely still performing well in terms of monetization — otherwise we can assume a developer would eventually sunset the game to save on resources. From that perspective, apps like those on our list could be called Facebook gaming’s hidden gems of high engagement.

[Editor’s Note: Games which launched in the last couple months or had fewer than 20,000 monthly active users were excluded. This list also excludes game apps that are actually non-game utilities, extensions, or promotions for other games.]

Empire Avenue – by Empire Avenue: 80% DAU/MAU

A business simulation in which each player becomes a stock that can be bought and sold by other players on a trading exchange, the goal of Empire Avenue is to drive up your Share Price with in-game activity, and activity on social media sites that other players are connected to. This latter feature encourages players to follow and engage with the stocks (i.e. other players) they are invested in.

“So aside from having fun by playing the investment game, it actually enhances how you meet and engage with people online,” says Empire Avenue VP Tom Ohle. “As new people arrive on the site, they’re introduced them to new people quickly, and discover new content that lines up with their own interests.”

The game is monetized with the sale of the in-game currency “Eaves,” which can be purchased with cash or offers. (Empire Avenue is also playable on a standalone website.)

Earlier this year, the game enjoyed strong growth on Facebook, which then plateaued to around its current level of user activity, with 40,000 DAU and 50,000 MAU.

“[W]e’re starting to roll out some more features, which will see us start to focus once more on new-user acquisition,” Ohle says. “It’s just something we haven’t spent a ton of time on lately.” These new features include a mission system “which allows users to earn virtual currency by engaging with other players’ online content.” With additions like that, the company hopes to see user growth return.

無限德州撲克 (Chinese Poker) – by 6Waves Lolapps: 55% DAU/MAU

As the title suggests, Chinese Poker is a Chinese-language poker app similar to such successful apps as Zynga’s Texas Hold ‘Em, with turn-based, timer-driven multiplayer games of poker played around a casino table. While the game icons and UI are in Chinese characters, the gameplay is similar enough to other poker games for non-Chinese users to understand and play

According to Jim Ying, Senior Vice President at 6waves, the game’s high DAU/MAU is due in great part to being among the first poker games in Chinese. In the last year, the game’s total number of MAU has been dropping, as DAU/MAU has risen.

Ying attributes this to the game’s life cycle: “DAU/MAU will naturally rise for high-quality, older games as the people who just try out the game stop playing and you’re left with the ‘stickier’ people who keep playing the game.”