Many of the top Facebook games lost million of monthly active users (MAU) in April.
Following a smaller downturn in March, 18 of April’s top 25 titles saw a decline in MAU, with leading developer Zynga suffering the most.
The massively popular FarmVille lost over 4.4 million MAU, although the app remained the top game in April with 78.4 million players. Zynga titles lost over ten million MAU in total last month, according to analysis by Inside Social Games (via IndustryGamers).
The second largest Facebook game of the month, RockYou’s Birthday Cards, lost five million users from a player base of 39 million in March, while MindJolt’s MindJolt Games shed more than seven million MAUs month-on-month, representing over a third of its player base.
The main reason for the decline appears to be Facebook’s decision to disable third-party notifications in early March. The company said it removed the communication channel – which developers used to keep players returning to games – in order to make “applications more streamlined, clear, and less spammy for users”.
Addressing Facebook’s move in an article about the growth potential of social games, Digital Chocolate CEO Trip Hawkins said last month that viral growth through aggressive spam no longer works, creating a need for richer games that encourage players to actively “recruit” other users.