CityVille: you're probably playing this, right now
Hang up your straw hat: city planning is the new farming. Or it is on Facebook, anyway.
Launched just a couple of months ago, Facebook smash CityVille is not just the
biggest game on the social networking platform, it's the biggest Facebook game ever.
CityVille averaged over 84 million monthly users this past weekend, which means
it's bigger than previous record-holder and Zynga stablemate FarmVille
ever was: the latter's high-water mark was 83.76 million users, a number
it recorded last March.
Though the games are superficially similar, sharing a common crop-tending
mechanic, CityVille's fields and barns are a literal and figurative
background to its central theme: building a bustling city full of
residents, businesses, and civic structures. It's a faster-paced game
than FarmVille, and, if anything, it's even more aggressive in
encouraging players to build in-game connections with real-life friends
-- a factor that's bound to be helping its meteoric rise.
And boom town CityVille is looking set to grow even bigger. It continues to
post gains of about two million players per day, according to blog
InsideSocialGames, and fueled by the burgeoning popularity of Facebook
in the U.S. and overseas the game could eventually top 125 million
CityVille's success is good news for the game's developer, Zynga, which had been
seeing a downturn in its total userbase over the latter part of last
year. Almost all Zynga's Facebook titles have posted gains over the last
month, including FarmVille, though at less than 60 million monthly
players, it's a mere shadow of its former self.
Perhaps most impressively of all, the seven most-played games on Facebook are currently all Zynga games.