After One Day, 85 Percent Of Facebook Gamers Don't Care About Their Own Stupid Farm, Either

Research by a "social game analysis firm," — the existence of that title tells you a lot about the state of the business — indicates that 85 per cent of social gamers, who began a new title sometime between July and September, quit playing it after just one day. Nine out of 10 of them didn't play it after September.

Playnomics is the research firm, and the only good news it found is that if a player stuck with the game through a full week, a social game maker was more likely to make money off of them. Basically, the success of the product depends on creating an addict within the first day or two of the experience. I'm not sure cigarette makers performed that well.

There are a number of common-sense explanations for this. One is the vast marketplace of bullshit on Facebook and mobile platforms, in which cheap and insubstantial knockoffs count for much of the high churn rate, flinging mud on the more considerately designed games with higher production values and comparatively stable user bases. Another is that social gamers can quickly detect what is and what isn't appealing to them. Probably the biggest is that they run up against the paywall inside that first day and say to hell with it all.

Most new social game players quit after just one day [Gamasutra]


Comments

    I'm not sure what this article is about. This is just how user retention works. Hell, 8% of Skyrim players didn't get past the introduction according to the Steam achievement stats.

      I was thinking the same, it doesn't say anything about the 'state' of the business. I'd say retention of +15% is pretty damn good.

      ...and 92% 'did' get past the introduction in Skyrim. This is the complete opposite of your Skyrim analogy. 85% didn't get past day one.
      All these clown developers thinking that crappy Facebook games and ridiculously shallow 'games' on their mobile phones are the future of gaming are in for a rude awakening. Gaming on consoles and the PC is and always will be the pinnacle of gaming.

    The ethics of f2p social gaming always struck me as very shady: instead of getting a big userbase to pay a relatively large amount once, it relies on 5% of the users to subsidise everyone else *and* turn a profit for the developers. That 5% have to be "monetised" through addiction.

    A developer at GDC recently said they're basically relying on people with a predisposition to addiction who might be mentally ill to spend huge amounts of money that research says they can't afford. He said it wasn't uber-rich oligarchs who were spending $10,000 on their virtual farm, but people who had low incomes as it is.

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