Facebook Gaming Gets A Boost From App CenterBy: Zach Walton - August 14, 2012
Zynga used to be king of the Facebook game. All of their games performed extremely well and it looked like they were going to remain on top. Things rarely ever stay the same, however, and Zynga learned that lesson the hard way. The company is now struggling to retain employees after missing out on the first wave in mobile gaming and buying up short lived fads. Zynga isn’t the only Facebook game developer though. The others are doing just fine.
Facebook announced today at GDC Europe that there are more than 235 million players on Facebook each month. That’s an increase from 205 million from last year. The number has also risen 8.4 percent from the beginning of this year.
Facebook is also beginning to embrace mobile in a big way. They pushed users to the Apple App Store and Google Play more than 170 million times in the last month. That number might increase even more now that developers have access to mobile ads for apps on Facebook.
They also revealed that five out of the top 10 game developers on Facebook are from European countries. That’s a huge increase from just one last year. These developers are growing because more than 80 percent of Facebook users are outside the U.S. European gamers love European games so it only makes sense. The developers leading the charge in European Facebook development include Wooga, Kingcom, Peak Games, Rovio and Social Point.
Facebook also announced that App Center is beginning to lead people to more apps than ever before. They said that 150 million people used App Center in the past month and that the service is driving 2.4 times more installs than the old games dashboard.
In far more interesting news, App Center is also getting players to revisit games over longer periods of time. They found that a game downloaded through App Center is 35 percent more likely to be revisited the following day. It drops to 17 percent for the rest of the week. For games that are nothing more than distractions, that’s huge. Keeping players engaged in Facebook games, which are nothing more than fads at this point, is incredibly difficult.
Facebook gaming might actually have a pretty bright future if they can keep up this kind of commitment to the platform. As Facebook moves to mobile, you can be sure that they want to bring games along with them. App Center is the first step in that move and it seems to doing well for both Facebook and developers.