Zynga‘s latest blockbuster game CityVille just passed 100 million active users. This is incredible — the game just launched 41 days ago. The day before Christmas, CityVille passed FarmVille (also a Zynga game) to become the biggest game on Facebook.See what CityVille is like and how Zynga makes millions off the game →
That being said, Inside Social Games says CityVille might not actually be the cash cow for Zynga that FarmVille has been.
CityVille has less “stickiness” (daily active users as a percentage of monthly active users) than FarmVille, 19% to 30% (that last figure is pretty staggering). Stickiness is really important for social games for an obvious reason: the more people come back to your game, the more likely they are to spend money on it.
CityVille users are also more international (CityVille is localised in several languages, FarmVille isn’t) and younger than FarmVille users, which might mean they spend less money. CityVille’s userbase is also much more gender-balanced (most Zynga games are overwhelmingly played by women), although we’re not sure what this means business-wise for Zynga.
Zynga still has a lot of room to grow CityVille on mobile, which is its latest big growth push after social networks. It seems that at a high level, Zynga is progressively moving from making tons of small games and iterating fast on them, killing the ones that don’t work and marketing the hell out of the ones that do, to focusing on a handful of huge, blockbuster games. Even if CityVille doesn’t make as much money as FarmVille on Facebook, it’s still a worthy investment to leverage its brand on the iPhone and Android.
Also, even though Zynga has been going all out on marketing CityVille, growth is slowing down. The game might top out at 110-125 million users.
Which, well, is still absolutely amazing.
Even if the game isn’t as much of a cash cow as FarmVille, it’s still a stunning success.
Still don’t get how Zynga makes millions off casual Facebook games? You should check out our walkthrough of CityVille →