Holidays, Policy Changes Affect the 20 Facebook Games with the Most New Monthly Active Users

Today’s leaderboard of the 20 Facebook games that gained the most monthly active users last week looks… well, pretty similar to the previous week’s. Overall, the games on our list grew by 19.6 million last week versus 17.8 million the previous week, according to AppData. In context, the top 20 games grew by 34.4 million between December 7-13.

The decline in growth may be due to users being busy with the holidays and it may be due to Facebook implementing policies against a number of social gaming tactics that previously helped drive growth and engagement numbers. We’ll be tracking the changes over the next few weeks to try to discern the causes and effects more clearly. In the meantime, here’s the specifics from last week — most of the titles should be pretty familiar to our regular readers.

Top Gainers This Week – Games

Name MAU Gain↓ Gain, %
1. icon PetVille 16,573,549 +3,745,059 +22.60
2. icon Pillow Fight 6,522,320 +3,036,138 +46.55
3. icon Birthday Cards 31,969,866 +2,825,968 +8.84
4. icon Zoo World 9,573,821 +2,123,690 +22.18
5. icon Bubble Popp 1,441,335 +968,793 +67.21
6. icon Santa Yourself 4,308,392 +908,756 +21.09
7. icon Tarjetitas 2,892,962 +862,778 +29.82
8. icon Happy Pets 11,993,410 +719,642 +6.00
9. icon Texas HoldEm Poker 21,775,603 +692,749 +3.18
10. icon FarmVille 73,663,624 +628,566 +0.85
11. icon Country Life 5,525,618 +615,374 +11.14
12. icon Tiki Farm 1,101,413 +375,908 +34.13
13. icon Poker Rivals 1,459,908 +323,598 +22.17
14. icon Fish World 9,143,724 +307,159 +3.36
15. icon Forever Friends 2,895,453 +276,718 +9.56
16. icon Jungle Jewels 2,094,348 +271,916 +12.98
17. icon Happy Farm 3,419,354 +263,830 +7.72
18. icon Ninja Saga 1,646,874 +232,941 +14.14
19. icon My Stuff 2,489,650 +203,501 +8.17
20. icon Fish Isle 4,784,581 +188,515 +3.94

Zynga‘s PetVille came in at number one. Having launched early this month, the pet-caring app is now up to 16.6 million MAU, with an increase of 3.75 million in the past week.

Pillow Fight came in second, nearly doubling its MAU count to reach 6.52 million. While this app is mostly just a simple poking-style app and not a game, per se, it does include ways to level up your pillow experience, and access new pillows to throw at your friends.

At third and fourth place we have RockYou‘s Birthday Cards and Zoo World. The former app is a gifting app and not really a game, but it contains a window that allows you to play the latter from within it. This is an unusual sort of interface, but the traffic to both apps appears to indicate that users like it. Birthday Card grew by 2.85 million to reach 33 million while Zoo World grew by 2.12 million to reach 9.57 million. We assume the users for each app are not being double-counted, although this is not clear.

We should also note that CrowdStar‘s new Happy Island virtual tourism game would actually be number four on this list, as it has grown by 2.38 million MAU in the past week to reach 4.59 million — however, the company doesn’t categorize the game as a game in Facebook’s app directory, so it doesn’t show up within our games category on AppData.

Moving down today’s list, we have Bubble Popp, an arcade-style puzzle game from GameDuell. It gained 969,000 new users this past week to reach 1.44 million. Another one of the developer’s arcade-style games, Jungle Jewels, also made our list today after seeing a new spurt this past week. We don’t usually see these types of games grow so fast on Facebook, so we’re interested to learn what the secret is.

A long list of other relatively new titles also show up today, including: CrowdStar’s Happy Pets, Zynga’s FarmVille, a mystery developer’s Country Life farming game, Playdom‘s Tiki Farm, Playfish‘s Poker Rivals, Tall Tree GamesFish World , IGG Inc.‘s Fish Isle, another mystery developer’s Ninja Saga also continued to see growth.

We should also note that 5 Minutes, the recently-funded China-based developer is seeing flagship app Happy Farm grow more this past week. Perhaps the company is renewing its focus on Facebook, after spending some of the past year building games for Asia-focused social networks.