September 12, 2011
Sims Social Now 2nd Largest Facebook Game
Zynga´s hugely popular Farmville social-networking game has been ousted of its number 2 spot by The Sims Social -- Electronic Arts´ latest version of its bestselling avatar-based franchise, which has been growing faster than Farmville´s simulated crop fields.
In the last 24 hours, more than 9.3 million have logged into The Sims Social, compared to 8.1 million who played Farmville.
That milestone is significant because Farmville is considered to be one of the most successful social games on Facebook. Launched in 2009, the game quickly zoomed to the top as hundreds of millions of players rushed to build and maintain their virtual farm. At its peak, nearly 32.5 million people played Farmville in a single day, according to AppData.com.
Now things are looking pretty serious for Zynga, and brighter for EA. In just two weeks since its launch, The Sims Social has passed nine games to plant itself in the No. 2 spot for most-played games. Now the avatar-based game is setting its sights on Cityville, Zynga´s now most popular title that has 14 million players entering the game daily, sitting a No. 1 on the heap.
The Sims Social is among only a few games that have been able to compete with Zynga´s top titles.
But, although The Sims Social has taken over No. 2 on the daily list, it is still lingering at number 5 on the monthly charts. Zynga holds the top four spots on that chart, with Farmville grabbing 35.7 million players compared to The Sims Social´s 34.3 million.
But Farmville´s popularity is waning as players move on to other titles, many of which are published by Zynga. Zynga had announced it plans to sell its shares on the public stock market, but due to current turbulence in the market, it had put those plans on hold for now.
The rivalry between Zynga and EA is fierce. Zynga has been recruiting top execs from EA. Many of Zynga´s key employees came from EA, including its COO John Schappert and its president of studios Steven Chiang. Also many of EA´s top developers have gone on to work with Zynga.
EA, in turn, has been aggressively expanding in the social gaming world. It acquired social game developer Playfish for $400 million in November 2009, and in July it bought PopCap Games for $750 million. PopCap´s Bejeweled Blitz was the 15th most popular game on Facebook in the last 24 hours, with 3 million players.
“With PopCap and the Sims Social, we´re now far and away the No. 2 player in social games,” EA spokesman John Reseberg said.
EA could be finally getting social gaming right with The Sims Social. It launched The Sims Online, a massively multiplayer game, in 2002, running it for 6 years before shutting down due to lacking popularity. Their new hit is finally delivering popularity in the social field.
Now, with its sights set on the No. 1 spot, which is held by Zynga´s Cityville, EA is betting that its less-manic Sims Social game will become the reigning champion in social gaming.
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