There’s a Facebook game pulling in $22,000 a day and it’s not an application from RockYou or Slide. It’s an independently developed game called Mob Wars, currently the 13th most popular app on Facebook.
At least that’s what Developer Analytics, a Facebook service for developers and marketers, claims. Today, the company released its first ranking of the top twenty Facebook applications, ordered by monetization potential. Its numbers are not quite consistent with VentureBeat’s earlier reporting, which suggested that Mob Wars expected to make $15 million over 12 months. For comparison, Slide and RockYou, the biggest app developers on Facebook, make the list at #5 and #6 with FunSpace and SuperWall at $8,415 and $7,872, respectively. This is less than half of what Mob Wars is suggested to make.
Developer Analytics says it has created its equations based on real datapoints gathered by speaking with developers and advertisers. To determine the monetization potential of an app, it combines the amount an app can make from running banner advertising with the amount the app can make from companies like Offerpal and SuperRewards. Offerpal and SuperRewards let developers earn money by getting players to fill out surveys or signing up for services.
However, as Developer Analytics points out in their announcement, it has not been able to estimate the impact of brand advertising on Facebook. There simply haven’t been enough deals from which to draw data. As a result, companies like Slide and RockYou, whose apps have gigantic reach and are best suited to draw brand advertisers, may be undervalued.
Another caveat is that highly engaging Flash-based apps, such as Zynga’s Texas Hold’em Poker and the many popular games from Playfish, are underrepresented because the equations are based on pageviews, which Flash games do not generate.
Either way, the many naysayers suggesting that it’s impossible to make money on Facebook might want to think again.
Bret Terrill, the author of this post, writes the blog Bret on Social Games.