CityVille Launches: More on Its Mobile-Oriented Design and Likely Growth Plans

Two weeks after first announcing the title, Zynga has finally launched its fourth, and most ambitious, Facebook game of 2010: CityVille. The game went live just before midnight last night.

Our preview of CityVille explains most of the game’s features: shipping and goods production, farms, franchises in friends’ cities, and a thorough list of the best social gaming mechanics that Zynga and its competitors have come up with this year.

So today, we’ll limit our comments on gameplay to noting that the game is extremely well-designed. Zynga’s evolution in sim games is clearly visible through FarmVille, FrontierVille and now CityVille, with a wider range of things to do and social features in each iteration. CityVille looks better, and is more fun to play, than its predecessors — even if the theme isn’t as interesting as FrontierVille.

Playing CityVille freely does seem to confirm some theories we initially had about the game. With full 3D graphics, CityVille steps away from the 2D pixel art that has defined most Facebook games.

We theorized before that CityVille is intended to translate to mobile devices, and indeed, during play the game actually seems like a mobile title — the art and animations feel more suited to an iPad than Facebook. CityVille also very noticeably lacks a player avatar of any kind. This may have been an intentional choice with mobile in mind, as avatars can be more difficult to use on a small screen.

Another idea we put forward is that CityVille is intended to begin siphoning players away from FarmVille; the latter game has aged, and no longer compares favorably to many newer titles. True enough, one of the first messages to pop up in the game asks you to recruit FarmVille-playing friends:

There’s also plenty of content that would make FarmVille players feel at home. Besides actual farm buildings and crops on a timed growing cycle, this quest about a poor, lost bunny should be familiar:

The last thing to note about CityVille is that it’s no alpha or beta launch. Although there are a few “coming soon” features like Wonders, the game looks fully built out, with features that most developers would have pushed off until a later update. Just to give one example of what we mean, there are already 119 different structures that can be built in the game.

CityVille will be the Zynga game to watch for the rest of this year. Zynga is busy overseas, but those efforts will take some time to mature. In the meantime, with Zynga’s advertising dollars and cross-promotional might, CityVille could well balloon into the tens of millions of players.

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6 Responses to “CityVille Launches: More on Its Mobile-Oriented Design and Likely Growth Plans”

  1. “CityVille” มาแล้ว !! เกมสร้างเมืองบน Facebook | 9TANA : Tech Channel !! says:

    [...] จาก  InsideSocialGames [...]

  2. Social Gamer says:

    ‘With full 3D graphics, CityVille steps away from the 2D pixel art that has defined most Facebook games.’

    The game has not got ‘full 3D graphics’. It’s got pre-rendered sprites, which are very 2D. Lots of other games use this method.

  3. Bart says:

    Another copy-cat off the Zynga assembly line… .. oh its mobile and they hired a less-than-cheap artist. Yay.

  4. มาแล้ว “CityVille” เกมสร้างเมือง ใหม่ล่าสุดจากค่าย Zynga – Faceblog says:

    [...] ข่าว/ภาพประกรอบ จาก  InsideSocialGames [...]

  5. Social Gaming Roundup: Acquisitions, Digital Chocolate, Mixi, & More says:

    [...] FarmVille Players Exhorted to Play CityVille — Zynga is pushing its new title hard, having added a “neighbor” called Sam to FarmVille that asks players to go try CityVille. Resident farmers can also see a rather sizable, and clickable, billboard promoting the new game. This follows other cross-promotion techniques that already led us to speculate that CityVille is in many ways a replacement for FarmVille. [...]

  6. Social Media News – Toronto & The World- December 16th, 2010 | iRISEmedia.com says:

    [...] CityVille: Zynga launches its fourth Facebook game for 2010. Only four days after its launch, Zynga claims CityVille is its fastest-growing game. [...]

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