Is Farmville that popular? I was reading the below post on Mashable about Farmville and could not believe that Farmville is only 2 months old. As a causal user of Farmville I find it addictive and creative, with a bit of SIM’s personality thrown in there.
Like me your probably thinking to yourself, why do I even care? I barely have time in my day to do my normal stuff, let alone log into a website, create a character and take care of a virtual farm. I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, BUT IT’S WORTH TAKING A SECOND LOOK.
The rise of social gaming is happening more quietly than one might think given the statistics. Today we’re hearing about another potential milestone: Facebook application FarmVille claims to be the fastest growing social game in history, reaching an impressive 11 million daily users in a little over two months.
To put than in perspective, World of Warcraft is the largest massively multiplayer game that dominates MMO marketshare with at last report 11.5 million active subscribers. Its publisher Blizzard hasn’t revealed any new population statistics since the end of last year, but assures the press that its figures are still growing. It took WoW four years to reach that many subscribers after its launch in late 2004.
Compare that to FarmVille, which only launched June 19 of this year. If its daily active stats are accurate, that would mean FarmVille is close to rivaling industry-leading World of Warcraft’s player numbers in only a little more than two months. Perhaps it has already eclipsed the elephant in the social gaming room if you look at its monthly stats, which boast 30 million active users.
Of course, it’s a little bit like comparing apples and oranges. WoW is an incredibly deep and detailed role-playing game often requiring exorbitant amounts of time to master and keep up with. FarmVille is a far more casual, pick-up-and-play for a few minutes type of virtual farm sim embedded in your Facebook page. It stands to reason that if you’re a Facebook user who plays the game, and you tend to check your Facebook account every day, you’ll probably spend at least a few minutes checking up on your virtual farm as well.
That’s exactly what the game’s developer, Zynga, is betting on. The largest social gaming company in the market to date, Zynga claims 27 million daily users across all its game titles on a multitude of social networks including Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, Hi5, and more, as well as on the iPhone.
FarmVille and many of its other titles make money through virtual goods sales, where players spend real dollars to buy virtual currency or items in the game. Virtual item sales are already an enormous market opportunity, with an estimated $2 billion in sales last year. And that number is expected to grow.
Do you play FarmVille or other social games on Facebook or other social sites? Do you think these kinds of casual games and the virtual goods sales business model will continue to grow on social networks? Let us know in the comments.
Reviews: Hi5, MySpace, facebook
Tags: browser games, casual gaming, facebook, farmville, microtransactions, social gaming, virtual goods, Zynga