Farmville has finally been dethroned. Although this social gaming application, which at one point in time was synonymous with social gaming on Facebook, had been replaced by Phrases DIY trivia builder application as the most popular application on Facebook, it still retained the tag as the most popular gaming application until now. No longer.
Data collected by app metrics firm AppData has showed that Zynga’s Cityville has replaced Farmville as the most popular gaming application. This is across any single platform and is not limited to Facebook alone. According to data revealed by AppData, the new game from Zynga amassed as many as 61.7 million monthly users – just 22 days after its launch on December 2. Farmville on the other hand has reported close to 56.8 million during the same period.
Another noteworthy information is that Zynga’s total traffic during this period adds up to 261.6 million active users that is close to being its all-time peak. That’s 63 million more than what Zynga reported for November this year.
Farmville, the popular game from Zynga, has for long been synonymous with social gaming on Facebook. The application at one point clocked nearly 84 million users a month making it the most popular application on the social network – a position that the app has held for over fifteen months.
That has finally ended as we learn that Farmville has finally dropped to the number 2 place in the popularity rankings. Phrases, another Facebook app that lets users build DIY quizzes and trivia has now risen on to the top spot.
Interestingly, this rise to the top has been more so due to the decline in popularity of Farmville than anything else. The Zynga game currently has around 53.9 million monthly players that is merely two-thirds of what Farmville boasted during its days of peak popularity. Phrases is noted to now have 54.3 million users.
Do people still play Farmville? It has been a while since I saw a Farmville update from friends on my Facebook profile. Apparently, a lot of people still do and are looking forward to tend to their farms from multiple platforms. So developer Zynga has taken note of this and has now brought the FarmVille app to the iPad platform. The updated iOS app is marked by “HD” indicating that this includes support for the iPad. You may be aware that the company had released a FarmVille iPhone app earlier this year.
In a statement marking the announcement, Zynga’s president of studios, Steven Chiang has said,
“We want to reach people wherever they want to play the games they love, and deliver the most fun and social experience on every platform. The iPad is a spectacular gaming device, and the new FarmVille app leverages its larger touch screen interface and enhanced graphics. FarmVille on the iPhone was an instant hit and now we are giving people another Apple device to play on.”
If you can barely wait, click here to go ahead and download the app for your iPad.
Will you soon be able to hatch your mystery eggs on the go. There are speculations that Zynga, the company behind the popular Facebook game Farmville may be planning to expand their channels beyond Facebook. According to reports on JoyStiq, the company has recently purchased the domain names FarmvilleSMS.com, FarmvilleiPad.com and FarmvilleAndroid.com.
While it is not explicitly known whether these domain names were indeed purchased by Zynga, they are at least under the ownership of the same third party that also manages the Farmville.com domain name.
iPad and Android are logical extensions. SMS? Not so much. What do you think?
There were speculations earlier this week that Facebook could be entering the Chinese market soon via an M&A or a Joint Venture. It now appears that Facebook may be looking at China as more of a development center for the West rather than as a market opportunity.
A new report from Marbridge Consulting suggests that the world’s largest social networking site may be looking at establishing a gaming development center in China that will develop high quality games for the western market. It is being reported that Facebook makes very little from the sale of virtual goods from third party developers like Zynga who are behind the popular Facebook game, Farmville. By instituting their own social games, Facebook may be cashing in on the highly lucrative social gaming market.
Does that mean the 56,000 Chinese users in Facebook will remain friendless as always?
[via Marbridge Consulting]
Websites asking new users to “spread the word” by logging into their email accounts is not exactly new. Of late, it is not very uncommon to see the same thing happen with social networks. However, ‘The Mechanical Zoo’, the parent company of Aardvark – the social search engine that was recently acquired by Google has applied for a patent on the idea of viral ad campaigns via status messages.
In the application titled, “Online Word-of-Mouth Marketing of a Web Service Using Personalized Invitations via a Status Messaging Service“, the company has sought for rights on the concept whereby websites and web applications (like Farmville) that promote their service via the users’ status messages.
Here are a few screenshots of the idea that could now belong to Google.
With applications like Farmville (and the thousands of Facebook apps) and Twitpic (and other Twitter apps) making use of similar features to promote their services via status messages, do you think such an idea is patentable?
Microsoft may be in talks to buy CrowdStar, developers of the popular Facebook game ‘Happy Aquarium’. If rumors are to be believed, the value of the acquisition could be well over $200 million.
There has been a lot of consolidation in the social gaming space lately. EA Sports acquired Playfish last year for $400 million and earlier this week, Farmville developers Zynga acquired a smaller gaming firm, Serious Business for an undisclosed amount.
The transaction in all these cases is mutually win-win. While social gaming as a concept has grown by leaps and bounds in the past one year with more growth possible in the near future, this is also a high capital business requiring lots of resources. No wonder then that the investors are willing to sell out at the first opportunity for an exit.
Happy Aquarium is the fourth in the list of the most popular games on Facebook. By acquiring CrowdStar, there is a possible synergy that Microsoft may find between the web based social games and console based gaming on Xbox. If it works out fine, Microsoft can soon be the biggest force to reckon with in the gaming arena.
Users of the hugely popular social game on Facebook, Farmville can expect the ‘Pay By Facebook‘ option to be rolled out sometime this week. The Business Insider reveals that Facebook’s payment gateway integration is so close to being implemented on Farmville that it could have been introduced last week itself.
The payment gateway is expected to be a huge money-spinner for Facebook, the world’s most popular social network that is now inching towards the 400 million registered users mark. However, despite the huge popularity of its application platform, the website itself had only been making money from advertising which did not contribute to much, considering the major part of revenues from gaming were to be made from purchase of virtual goods.
Facebook is expected to charge a 30% commission on transactions over its payment gateway. Despite this high charge, it is believed that developers would be willing to opt in considering the “Facebook stamp”. The Business Insider also notes that gaming app developers like Zynga believe a payment gateway from Facebook will in fact encourage more users to spend money, thus increasing overall revenues from the gaming apps.
[via Business Insider]