There are two metrics when looking at Active Users that you will want to understand.
1. Daily Active Users (DAU)
2. Monthly Active Users (MAU)
As you will obviously see without any explanation both are concerned with how many users are active in your game during their respective period of time. These metrics are more concerned with social online gaming compared to premium titles since their monetization often comes through low monthly ARPU compared to upfront premium lump sum revenue. Until online social gaming became popular, the most common metric to use for the success of a franchise was to compare the total units sold.
I would argue that a combination of all 3 of these metrics are crucial in evaluating an online social game but first, let’s take a look at what a major social game has for metrics.
League of Legends published their massive numbers of their user volume in 2013.
12 Million Daily Users
32 Million Monthly Users
70 Million Total Users
Most marketing departments track the growth and decline of the daily and monthly active users. I prefer to track the monthly active users since it gives an accurate number of users who are currently engaged with your game. My decision here is that users, even for their favorite games, can’t obviously make time to log in every day. I’m interested in seeing how many users are currently making use of my game for their entertainment purposes. I would actually love to see a 14 day trend because most users in online social games are likely disinterested if they aren’t playing every for 3 weeks – this metric isn’t very comparable to other products.
Make effort to track these numbers and compare them month to month and even year to year. Seeing how specific marketing activities or engagement functions act on these metrics is a core principle of analytic marketing review.
The concept of game stickiness is measuring user engagement. By taking the DAU / MAU you’ll have an idea of how many of your regularly active users come online every day. A regular benchmark for this metric is anywhere from 20% – 35%.