New York held it’s own Social Gaming Summit this week featuring notable speakers from major US and international social games companies. Surprisingly, there was almost no mention of Zynga but instead a focus on these hot topics:DAU is the New MAU
Numerous speakers focused on how MAU (monthly active users) — while promoted by many companies — is often effective at masking churn and advertising spend. DAU (daily active users) was seen as a better representation of success. That would make Pop Cap the number two social games company. In addition, the DAU / MAU ratio should be used to judge all distribution opportunities. MySpace has a high MAU count, but their ratio makes them a less engaging and profitable place to distribute games as opposed to much smaller sites with the same DAU’s but smaller MAU’s.
International is the New National
For the first time social game developers are focusing on multiple languages and even simple arcade style games with limited text are taking the plunge into everything from German to Japanese. In addition, Russian, Japanese and other distributors were tauting their distribution opportunities with promises of higher ARPU’s. Digital Chocolate’s Trip Hawkins also spoke about “Digital Imperialism” as Asian and European companies are looking to make moves to acquire US developers.
Mobile is the Hedge Against Facebook
There was a lot of multi-platform love as developers are looking at mobile, tablets, browsers on TVs, and more in the effort to expand beyond Facebook. While the mobile landscape is challenging with poor virality, limited discovery, and Android divided by multiple competing app stores, all confusing to consumers, the opportunity still feels big. Mobile stat of the day was that mobile game players spend less time per session than Facebook but log in twice as much per month.
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