Papers filed for Zynga's initial public stock offering today
reveal the company had 148 million unique monthly players across its games as of March 31, much lower than previous counts which tallied players of multiple Zynga games multiple times.
Facebook app measurement service AppData currently shows
just under 280 million players across all Zynga games in the past month. But that count simply adds publicly available usage data for each Zynga title, without taking into account users who are double counted by playing multiple Zynga games.
Zynga's newly revealed monthly unique user (MUU) number (via InsideSocialGames
) separates out these multi-game players, though it still doubly counts users who play Zynga games on both Facebook and iOS.
The internal count of MUUs nearly doubled from 63 million in September 2009 to 124 million in March of 2010, before dropping to 111 million by the end of last year.
The rise to 146 million MUUs in the first quarter of 2011 is likely due to the late 2010 launch of CityVille
, which peaked at over 100 million monthly active users in January and is still the most popular game on Facebook with 87 million monthly unique users.
Social gaming companies usually closely guard their actual user counts across games, though Zynga's decision to issue public stock has opened the company up to more transparency about its operations and potential risk factors