Not-As-Happy Holidays For Zynga: Bored At Work Gamers Go Home and CityVille Loses Traffic

Take a look at the daily active user statistics for CityVille on 12/27; CityVille takes a small dive for daily active users, doesn’t it? Before jumping to conclusions though, it is imperative to take a look at where other social games stood on the same date. CityVille’s daily active users moved down to 13.8 million, FarmVille went down to 14.0 million, Zynga’s Texas Hold’em dove down to 6.2 million and FrontierVille stayed behind Texas Hold’em with 5.1 million daily active users. What’s behind it?

CityVille, now Zynga’s number one game, is still going strong with 72.4 million monthly active users. CityVille’s daily growth increase, 2.5 million active users, is still ahead of FarmVille’s daily growth of 129,000 active users. However, why is it that all of these popular games took a dive during the Christmas season? Is it a divine phenomenon that occurred or is it something more simple?

Back in 2009, ComputerWorld, produced an article with a few interesting Facebook related statistics. ComputerWorld reported that Nucleus Research, a research firm, produced a study regarding employee social networking habits in the workplace.

According to this report, 77% of employees who have a Facebook account will use it during office hours. This statistic alone does not help us solve our decrease in daily active users during the holiday season, but it sure does show us that during the workday, workers are logging onto Facebook instead of doing their work. Just recently Azam Khan, a fellow Social Times contributor, reported that social gameplay increased 66% in 2010, which can also mean that it is more likely workers will be social gaming at work.

If you take those two statistics together, it may seem like you’re missing a piece if the puzzle. Network Box, a security management service, fills the missing puzzle piece with one of their reports. According to Network Box, Facebook is the number site visited by businesses in the first quarter of 2010, which leads me to believe that employees mostly use Facebook at work to procrastinate the time, instead of doing work (all of you that are employed, I’m sure this is a fair assumption to make, correct?). The rest of the list is as follows:

The top five websites visited by businesses in Q1 2010 were:

  1. Facebook – 6.8 per cent of all traffic
  2. Google – 3.4 per cent of all traffic
  3. Yimg (Yahoo!’s image server) – 2.8 per cent of all traffic
  4. Yahoo! – 2.4 per cent of all traffic
  5. Doubleclick – 1.7 per cent of all traffic

What really stood out to me about this list is the fact that Facebook beat Google. Maybe it’s just me, but I use Google for almost everything. I am also surprised that Facebook beat Google because due to a previous statistic regarding Facebook usage time during office hours, employers have been cracking down on Facebook usage by blocking the website from their employees.

There is some good news behind the seasonal dive of social gaming users. Instead of sitting behind a computer to play CityVille, gamers are spending the Christmas season with friends and loved ones. This may not necessarily be the best thing for gaming developers, but it does show that gamers are able to get their heads out of the gaming world to devote their time to a little reality.

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