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Cowen: PC social gaming is at "evolutionary dead end"

Analyst firm says continuing decline shows further shift to mobile

Analyst Doug Creutz, of Cowen and Co. has issued a report detailing another month of DAU (Daily Active Users) shrinkage for major social companies like Zynga, EA and Disney.

In the report, Creutz says that PC-based social gaming is stuck in an "evolutionary dead-end and is in the process of being supplanted by gaming on mobile devices."

Creutz and fellow analyst Jason Mueller point to ageing games and accelerating DAU attrition as key delineating factors between the PC and mobile platforms, noting that, whilst more than half of the Facebook top 20 grossing games are over a year old, only three titles in the same bracket on the iOS app store were released over 12 months ago.

"We believe it is hard to construct a model where over half of the top 20 games are shrinking significantly in aggregate but where the total is meaningfully growing," reads the report.

"In contrast, 17 of the top 20 games on the iPhone are less than a year old. We think this is a function of the faster growth of mobile gaming relative to social."

Further to the ageing game population, Facebook's top publishers suffered an aggregate 5.5 per cent m/m DAU shrinkage, with Zynga's DAU dropping by 27 per cent in the last 6 months.

Nonetheless, Zynga continues to dominate the Facebook charts, occupying eight slots in the top twenty but just two in the iOS rankings. EA has two on Facebook and just one on iOS, as does Disney.

More tracking information on specific companies is available from Cowen's tracking site.

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Latest comments (3)

Michael Turner Senior Buyer, GameStop4 years ago
What does "DAU" mean? Dedicated Aggregate Users? Drunk-Ass Unicorns? Drive And Crash? It's customary to spell out what the acronym means in the first usage, and then just use the acronym in subsequent usages. Otherwise you open yourself to snarky posts...
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Matthew Eakins Technical Lead, HB-Studios4 years ago
I'm pretty sure it stands for Daily Active Users, but your point is still valid. I don't think that term is prevalent enough yet to just drop it in on it's own.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Matthew Eakins on 10th July 2012 3:58pm

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James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz4 years ago
It's pretty prevalent these days. And yes, it's daily active users. I'll add it.
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