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Daily Active Users (DAUs)

By on October 19, 2011

In online games, DAUs has become a bigger focus of attention for game designers than MAUs.

This is good for game design, iteration and rapid changes. It is bad for the finance division. It remains difficult to build a usable monthly forecast from DAUs, and many companies run two different models: one for the games design and one for financial forecasting.

I’ve tried to use a single model here. The result – and a weakness of the model – is that financial results are driven by MAUs rather than by DAUs. I focus on month-on-month retention, rather than day-on-day retention. It was the only choice if I wanted to keep the model simple.

Comparing MAUs to DAUs gives you a powerful metric, often known as engagement, of DAU/MAU. More about that in a separate post on DAU/MAU – engagement.



The most comprehensive source for Facebook data is At the time of writing, Cityville remains the most popular game on Facebook by DAU with 13.3m users. We won’t collate DAU information on Facebook games on GAMESbrief because you can get such high-quality, up-to-date information on Appdata, straight from the Facebook API.


The nearest equivalent to Appdata for iOS is, although it only tracks ranks, not DAUs.

  • Zynga, iOS/Android/Mobile Web: 11.1 million DAUs (source: theappside)
  • Angry Birds, Rovio, £0.69: 30 million DAUs (source: Inside Mobile Apps)
  • Glu Mobile: 3.4 million DAUs (source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)
  • Stardom, Glu Mobile: 74,000 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)
  • Deer Hunter, Glu Mobile: 271,000 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)
  • Junkies, Glu Mobile: 114,000 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)
  • Gun Bros, Glu Mobile: 78,000(Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)
  • Frontline Commando, Glu Mobile: 261,000 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)
  • Contract Killer, Glu Mobile: 107,000 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)


  • Storm8: 4 million DAUs (source: Inside Mobile Apps)
  • My Horse, MunkyFun, free: 500,000 DAUs (source: theappside)
  • Funpark Friends, Tag, free: 8,000 DAUs (source: Pocketgamer)
  • Tiny Tower, free: 1 million DAUs (source: Ian Marsh)
  • Temple Run, free: 7 million DAUs (source: GAMESbrief)
  • Dark Orbit, Bigpoint: 100,000 DAUs (source: Social Games Summit)
  • Parallel Kingdoms, PerBlue: 15,000 daus (source: inside social games)
  • Angry Birds, Rovio: 20-30 million DAUs (source: the app side)


League of Legends, Riot: 27 million DAUs (September 2014, source: Nick Parker on Twitter)

An interesting note about Bejeweled Blitz:

  • March 2012: 1.1 million DAUs on iOS, 3.3 million DAUs on Facebook (source: March 2012, Giordano Bruno Contestabile speaking at GDC said that iOS DAUs are 33% of Facebook DAUs. Facebook figure sourced from in March 2012)
  • September 2012: 1.25 million DAUs on iOS, 2.5 million DAUs on Facebook (source: September 2012, Dennis Ryan speaking at Login conference said that iOS DAUs are ~50% of Facebook DAUs. Facebook figure sourced from in October 2012)

Bejeweled Blitz is losing users on Facebook, and gaining them on mobile.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: