Last Thursday, EA publicly launched the first Facebook version of its wildly successful franchise, The Sims, and the game is growing like... a Zynga game.
The Sims Social, aptly titled for a game that could easily be called “The Sims for Facebook,” has in just over a week accumulated more than six million daily users, with 1.4 million added today, according to AppData.
That means the game is on pace to do better than both CityVille and Empires & Allies, two of Zynga’s most successful launches, by the end of the month. By its tenth day, Empires had reached 6.9 million daily active users. Likewise, it nearly took CityVille two whole weeks to reach just six million daily actives.
Today, CityVille and Empires dominate the Facebook app leaderboard. The former tops the chart with 75.5 million monthly active users, while Empire sits in third with 42.9 million monthly actives. The two combined, along with a slew of other Zynga titles, help the social gaming giant retain its number one spot on the developer leaderboard, with 272.7 million monthly active users in total.
Even so, nobody stays number one forever. Could The Sims Social be on track to topple Zynga’s dominance of the leaderboard, held strong since the days of FarmVille?
When you’re dealing with a gaming company as experienced as EA and, especially, with a franchise as famous as The Sims, anything is possible.
First released in 2000, The Sims had by 2002 become the best-selling PC game in history, with 6.3 million copies sold worldwide. The game eventually was expanded multiple times for the PC, Mac and consoles and, by now, the entire franchise has sold more than 150 million copies around the world.
Truth is--and EA has realized this--social gaming platforms are a whole different monster when compared to the PC. Since playing the game is completely free, The Sims Social has the usual virtual goods mechanism worked into the gameplay so that getting those “Simoleons” (Sims currency) might actually cost the user real money sometimes.
And, of course, the social element of sharing with friends and other users is vital to the experience.
The studio responsible for The Sims Social is Playfish, which EA acquired as its primary social gaming studio back in November 2009 for $275 million in cash.