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Zynga’s conversion rate

By on September 23, 2014

I was digging into definitions of conversion rate, and came across this slide from Zynga’s Q2 2014 conference call.




So Zynga’s conversion rate is between 1.6% and 1.9%. But what does that actually mean? I’m struggling a little to find out. In their annual 10K filing, they don’t mention conversion rate at all. In the quarterly 10Q filing, the company provides the following information for the three months ending 30th June 2014.

  • Average Monthly Active Users (MAUs): 130 million
  • Average Monthly Unique Users (MUUs): 89 million
  • Average Monthly Unique Payers (MUPs): 1.7 million.

I can’t make these numbers end up at 1.9%. MAUs/MUPs comes to 1.3% and MUUs/MUPs comes to 2.1%. I can’t find any definition of conversion rate in the company’s SEC filings (its S-1 registration statement, its annual 10K or its quarterly 10Q).

So this figure could be the Quarterly Unique Users (or Active Users) divided by the Quarterly Unique Payers. Or it could be the Daily Payers/DAUs, averaged out over the quarter. Or it could be something else. For now, I am going to say that Zynga has a conversion rate of just under 2% and fudge it.

And remember, for your purposes, IT DOESN’T MATTER. Benchmarking is much less useful in free-to-play game business than it used it to be in the old world. A successful free-to-play game can have a conversion rate 1,000x better than an unsuccessful one. On that basis, worrying about whether Zynga’s conversion rate is 1.9%, or 1.7% or 2.1% is not a good use of a game designer’s time.

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: