Archive for November, 2010

Facebook Email Debut on the Developer Platform Policies

On Nov 15th there was a new update on the Platform Policies pertaining to the new Facebook email addresses:

  1. Facebook messaging (i.e., email sent to an address) is designed for communication between users, and not a channel for applications to communicate directly with users.

Look for this to be part of the functionality restraints placed on game developers when Facebook finally does roll emails for users.

Virtual Goods as a Business Model

A chart showing how Virtual Goods Optmizes Willingness to Pay in online gamin as a business model

A chart showing how Virtual Goods Optmizes Willingness to Pay in online gamin as a business model

Check out this great slide share about virtual goods as a business model. If you are interested in social games you need to understand the way that virtual goods are used to generate revenue and to leverage this into an actual business model. This example uses the popular Zynga game FrontierVille to show how virtual goods can be used to create a successful business model.

If you have ever wondered exactly how Zynga and other social games make business (also a lot of money) with their product you will find the above presentation very useful.

Hope you enjoy,



Pop Cap comes to Vancouver!!!!! AND they are looking for a new studio manager:

PopCap Games, the leading developer and publisher of casual games, today announced that it has acquired SpinTop Games, ( a consumer online destination and developer of casual games. SpinTop co-founders and executives Duncan Magee and Craig Hamilton will manage SpinTop as a subsidiary of PopCap. With the acquisition, PopCap adds a consumer game portal with more than 250 of the
top downloadable games, millions of customers, and a Vancouver, British
Columbia-based studio to expand its catalog of hit casual games. SpinTop
has created market leading games such as Mystery Solitaire(TM), Mahjong
Escape(R), and its most recent release in the popular hidden object genre,
Mystery P.I. (TM): The Lottery Ticket. PopCap’s global online network
attracts millions of unique visitors each month, and the combined PopCap
and SpinTop network will be jointly presented to advertisers as a single
network buy. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.




DAU stands for Daily Active User and it shows how many users have played a game in a given day. Everything in social gaming depends on how many people you have playing your games and so accurately measuring the number of people that play the game each day is very important.

The game with most DAUs is Farmville by Zynga. The game has 16 million Daily Active Users according to AppData. The next two highest games by DAU are FrontierVille and Texas Holdem Poker also both by Zynga.


MAU stands for Monthly Active Users. It represents the number of users that have played your game in the last 30 days. It should be noted that Facebook tends to inflate this number because it only records updates the count periodically. If you are a game producer you should count this number by distinct Facebook User ID that hits your game in the last 30 days. This number tends to grow much more quickly than DAU because users who do not return to the game day after day ARE included in Monthly Active Users while Daily Active users shows only the people who actually played the game that day.


Retention can be measured in a couple of way but in the context high level metrics of KPI it is measured by DAU/MAU. For every user that has played your game in a given day how many users have played this month. A retention rate of 0.3 is good target to reach. It can also be helpful to look at your DAU as weekly average if you see peak and trough traffic through out the week.