Zynga‘s CityVille has acquired over 22 million monthly active users in its first 11 days of operation, according to Inside Social Games. This means that CityVille is growing three times faster than FrontierVille, which had acquired about 7.4 million users during its 12th day of operation. Zynga’s FarmVille also grew at only half the rate of CityVille, despite being published in an era when Facebook developers had easier access to the platform’s viral notification channels.
So how is CityVille growing so rapidly without viral channels? The rapid user acquisition is likely due to cross-promotion through Zynga’s main site and in major Zynga titles like FarmVille, including making CityVille mascot Sam into an automatic neighbor for all FarmVille players. Attempting to visit her farm pops up a link that leads the FarmVille player to CityVille. The global launch of CityVille is also likely a factor. Zynga also likely paid particular attention to making sure CityVille ran smoothly at launch. Finally, CityVille is one of the first Zynga games to incorporate 3D graphics in any form.
Zynga is also pushing viral channels hard in CityVille, despite Facebook supposedly prohibiting such behavior. CityVille has had player emails gathered since the game’s launch, blasting players once a day to remind them to log in and collect their daily bonus. CityVille’s DAU as percentage of MAU is extraordinarily high according to AppData, around 66%. (It’s worth noting that AppData’s MAU stat for CityVille, as of this writing, disagrees with the figures published by ISG.) CityVille is expected to break 30 million MAU later this week, which owuld put the game on track to surpass FarmVille’s current 54 million MAU.
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