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DAU/MAU = engagement

By on October 26, 2011
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DAU/MAU is not a key driver of revenues for the GAMESbrief online games forecasting model. It is so important – and quoted so often – that I’ve incorporated it anyway.

Engagement

Across the online games world, engagement is a key objective. The more engaged a user is in your game, the more likely they are to spend. If they come back every day, they are more likely to spend. If they think about the game when they are not online, they are more likely to spend.

Little wonder DAU/MAU has become so important.

Benchmarks

Appdata tracks DAU/MAU for every game in its database. The table below shows the DAU/MAU figures for several popular games. The figures are often quoted in different ways. Sometimes DAU/MAU is quoted as 0.13; sometimes as 13%.

(Note that for new games, the DAU/MAU figure is likely to be over-stated. In the first month, for example, a game will get an engagement ratio of 100%. Note also that Facebook engagement ratios have been in decline throughout 2011. It is unclear whether these are structural changes or the results of a summer drop in game consumption.)

I tend to recommend that clients target an engagement ratio of 0.15, or 15%. That used to be very conservative. It is getting more and more like a base case, not a worst case. W3i claims, “A game with a strong DAU/MAU ratio will be able to maintain a value over 0.2 for an extended period of time”. (source: Gamasutra)

Mobile

Angry Birds, Rovio: 10% (source: the app side)

Parallel Kingdoms, PerBlue: 30% (source: inside social games)

Glu Mobile: 11.7% (source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12: 3.4 million DAUs /29 million MAUs)

Facebook

Zynga (entire catalogue): 22.5% (source: investor.zynga.com)
Scrabble, Gamehouse: 30% (source: Gamesbrief)
Bejeweled Blitz, Popcap: 27% (source: Gamesbrief)
Pet Society, Playfish: 14%  (source: Gamesbrief)

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: thecurveonline.com