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Latest title from the king of social gaming could prove more popular than CityVille and FarmVille
Zynga announced this week the latest addition to its social gaming treasure trove, Empires & Allies, the company’s first strategy combat game and the first release from its Los Angeles studio. The game launches Wednesday at zynga.com/empires.
Anyone with experience playing Zynga games will likely find the Empires & Allies game board familiar, and anyone with knowledge of the genre’s most popular titles (like Age of Empires) will be even more prepared. The game lets players build up empires, expand to new islands, develop armies, recruit friends and in-game allies, combat enemies, and work towards defeating the final villain.
“Empires & Allies is strategy combat gone social – think CityVille meets Risk,” said Amer Ajami, executive producer of Empires & Allies at Zynga. “We’re focused on bringing our players a new form of entertainment and a strategy game is definitely a new playground for us. Play is in everyone’s DNA, and this game lets you have fun and get creative by choosing your own destiny, building a nation and eventually, conquering the world.”
To make the easy transition, that’s exactly what Zynga is hoping to do once again with its newest game: conquer the world. It’s not unprecedented for a new title from the social gaming stronghold.
CityVille, Zynga’s last release, has proven to be the company’s most popular title yet. The game launched at the end of November, attracted 22 million users in two weeks, and, by the end of the year, had finally dethroned FarmVille as the most popular application on the Facebook platform.
Today, Cityville serves 89.9 million monthly active users, double FarmVille’s 44.5 million users. At this stage, however, Zynga only has itself for competition, since CityVille and FarmVille are the number one and two top applications on Facebook, respectively.
Empires & Allies could end up equally popular, if not more popular, than either of those titles, because Zynga has expanded upon the launch strategy it first introduced with CityVille. That game was the first Zynga game to debut internationally in five different languages. Empires & Allies takes things to the next level by launching in 12 languages all at once: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Turkish, Malay, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Norwegian.
The new game arrives at a pivotal time for Zynga, which is reportedly preparing its initial public offering amidst successful IPOs from social sites Renren and LinkedIn. As social gaming continues to draw venture capital left and right, the stage appears set for the industry leader to offer its shares to public investors. Zynga itself has been growing at a rapid clip, acquiring startups and boosting its workforce to over 1,500 employees.
As Zynga expands its own social gaming empire, Empires & Allies hits computer screens around the world. Let’s see how well it does.
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Zynga is the largest social gaming company with 8.5 million daily users and 45 million monthly users. Zynga’s games are available on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, Yahoo! and the iPhone, and include Texas Hold’Em Poker, Mafia Wars, YoVille, Vampires, Street Racing, Scramble and Word Twist. The company is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, IVP, Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Pilot Group, Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel. Zynga is headquartered at the Chip Factory in San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.zynga.com.