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Zynga's user engagement way down

Zynga's corner of the internet is in decline

Social game publisher Zynga is seeing a 53 percent drop in user engagement in under three years, according to social game analytics company Dystillr. Analysis shows that players interacted with Zynga titles an average of 9.8 times per month in November of 2009. That number has dropped to 4.6 times per month as of October 2012.

The simulation games that make up Zynga's core portfolio - including games like FarmVille 2, CastleVille, and CityVille - are taking the largest hit.

"The core of Zynga's challenge is its dominance in the simulation-type games, where it has a 58 percent market share," said Jay Aird co-founder of dystillr. "Since January 2011, simulation games' share of Facebook game users has plummeted from 64 percent to 29 percent today."

"Casual & Social Gaming is the fastest growing form of mass media of all time," said Aird. "What we are seeing now is an evolution in the space as the most iconic genres appear to have peaked while new genres and competitors have emerged to fuel new growth."

All is not doom and gloom for Zynga though: gambling and casino titles are still strong for the company and it retains a 60 percent market share on Facebook in that genre. The gambling sector is also the fastest-growing niche of the social gaming market, growing 96 percent in the past 12 months. With the slow roll-out of real-money gambling, companies like Zynga could see new revenue streams.

Dystillr's report on the subject, "Volatility in Zynga's Core Genre" is available for free here.

[Image via Sidequesting]

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Mike Williams avatar
Mike Williams: M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.