Social poker game income is on the way down — and out of PCs, according to a new study by market analyst SuperData Research.
The firm estimates that total revenues are dropping, from $203 million in 2013 to $179 million estimated this year and to $156 million estimated in 2017. Much of that drop is due to the struggles of Zynga’s Poker app, which dominates the marketplace. Analysts believe that the segment’s revenues will become majority-mobile by 2018, SuperData representative Sam Barberie said.
“User numbers are dropping more sharply than revenue, as the market matures and fickle players fall by the wayside, ” the report said. “More casual poker players now gravitate toward poker games included in casino-style apps like DoubleDown Casino. … Changes in the overall social market are largely due to Zynga Poker’s fluctuating revenue and falling player base.”
That one game commanded 61 percent of the total social poker revenue market last year, the firm found, earning between $9 million and $13 million a month. But its users and spending have fluctuated wildly.
“Because of Zynga Poker’s overwhelming command over social poker, their performance has been reflected in the overall market, ” said senior analyst Stephanie Lllamas. “Their poker game has largely been fueled by the volume of its users, since average spending is low for this type of game. So we are seeing casual poker players move on to casino-style apps causing a deflation in poker figures.”
Zynga Poker’s audience dropped 44 percent last year, ending at just under 20 million monthly active users, with revenues dropping more gently as some high-rollers stayed to play. While Poker had a minor rebound to just over 20 million players at the start of this year, the competing World Series of Poker app from Playtika/Caesars is still set to overtake Zynga Poker on mobile in 2015, the report said.
Zynga Poker has struggled since launching a massive revamp last year. Players eventually forced the publisher to bring back the old version of its poker game as a new “Classic” offering, and both the company’s chief executive and games studio head recently left the company.
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