Two social game developers are warning that using inflated monthly active user (or MAU's) number is not a good idea – particularly when it comes to data coming out of games available in Asia. According to social game makers InnoGames and A Bit Lucky monthly and daily active numbers from Asia are not a good measure of a game's success because some regions don't offer any serious monetization.
"Asia is not our highest priority," Gerhard Florin, chairman of InnoGames, told GamesIndustry.biz. "It's good for reach and to have lots of MAUs and DAUs, especially if I go to the Philippines, but I'll never make any money there. They are huge Facebook markets but deliver extremely small revenues."
Florin adds that these numbers are great for making headlines, but not so good for making any actual money.
"We're more interested in the revenue making than the millions of people inflating our servers but never paying anything. The balance needs to be kept," Florin says.
A Bit Lucky CEO Frederic Descamps says that in a space where measuring analytics and user behavior is central to the design of a game, inflated numbers corrupt the important data.
"We've had a pretty terrible time, like most developers, in South East Asia – Indonesia, Malaysia, India. These regions only inflate your numbers and they muddy the water on the analytics side because you'll see an influx of 20,000 people, but right away we know that most of them are not going to come back the next day."
"And most of them have a pretty terrible connection so they're not going to enjoy the game. And they absolutely do not monetise," he added.
Companies like A Bit Lucky are putting their focus on growing in markets where customers can actually be convinced or are already inclined to make in-game transactions.
"To put it more bluntly in our case, we are targeting North America and Europe because those are the audiences that retain the best and monetise the best," offered Descamps. "So in some ways we're not spending any efforts to market in those other regions."