Train2Game news: Zynga building own social games site

Train2Game students will no doubt be aware that Zynga’s games are heavily tied to Facebook, with the Train2Game blog previously reporting that at its peak Cityville had over 100 million users.

Allies & Empires also reached over 50 million users within weeks of launching, thanks to the Facebook platform.

Now however, Zynga wants to reduce their reliance on the social network, after the introduction of Facebook Credits saw a 95% drop in profits during the last financial quarter, and will start delivering games directly to consumers online or on mobile phones.

The social game developer has therefore revealed ‘Project Z,’ on Zynga.com, a gaming hub that’ll allow players to connect to games such as Farmville through their own portal rather than Facebook.

Games can be played across Project Z and Facebook as players will be allowed to use the same username and will feature familiar social features.

“Project Z is a Facebook connect platform that leverages your Facebook friends to play in an environment tailored with just your friends,” said Zynga COO John Schappert said at the Zynga Unleashed event in San Francisco.

“We learn a lot more about our players, not just from stats but from talking to them, and this is what they wanted.”

“It’s a platform for a direct relationship with consumers, whether on the web or on mobile, to give you a whole sandbox and create socialness about the games and not just within the games,” Zynga chief executive Mark Pincus added.

The news comes the day after Facebook launched its iPad App, and as reported by the Train2Game blog, it means Facebook games can now be played on mobile devices.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Zynga’s move? What does it say about Facebook gaming? And what is the future of social media games?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum

[Source:  WSJ]

Cityville has over 100 million people playing

Cityville Train2Game blog image

Over one hundred million people are now playing Zynga’s latest Facebook game, Cityville.  The social game only launched last month but Inside Social Games reports that the latest Facebook stats say 100,064, 578 people are playing the game. And impressive number that even eclipses Farmville.

This new information confirms the findings published on the Train2Game blog yesterday that Social Media Gaming is on the rise. This news was met by a mixed response from users of the Train2Game Facebook page, but as Train2Game students will know it’s much simpler for a small team to develop a game for social media than it is for them to produce a big blockbuster title.

Cityville was launched on December 2nd and in just two weeks managed to attract 26 million users, just a month later this has quadrupled to over 100 million! Some Train2Game students may not find social media games to be their cup of tea, but it’s hard to disagree that there is a wide audience for them!

Yesterday’s Social Gaming Smart Pack from EConsultancy said that one fifth of all consumers now play social media games online with one third of those playing several times a day.  Among other things, the report also suggests that a fifth of regular social gamers have paid to play and that more women than men play them. These are numbers that Train2Game students can’t really ignore!

In fact during the Third Official Train2Game webinar last year, veteran games designer Jon Hare said that it’s relatively simple for a small team of developers to produce a casual title. Cityville is quite a basic social media game, but that only adds to its appeal which can be seen through the massive growth in the user base!  Developing a good, successful social media game could provide a Train2Game student with a good start in the games industry.

What do you think about the massive user base of Cityville? Have you played it yourself? Can you see yourself developing a social media game in the future?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.