CastleVille, the latest bullet in Zynga’s arsenal, may help keep its anticipated post-Thanksgiving IPO squarely on track. The new Facebook game reached five million daily active users in its first six days, conquering CityVille's record, the most successful Zynga game to date, of 3.2 million daily active users six days after its launch, according to AppData.
CastleVille, set as a medieval fantasy, gives players a chance to build and manage the Kingdom of their dreams. Launched in 17 languages, it poses serious competition for Electronic Arts’ The Sims Social with 6.1 million daily active users – and is growing faster than any other Zynga game at this early stage.
Other facts about CastleVille's launch success, via Mashable:
• 135,176,035 quests completed
• 4,594,750 expansions into the Gloom
• 23,845,983 beasties banished from the kingdom
• 182,360 Bubbly Grogs crafted
• 8,262,768 baby cows raised
Players build and defend mini-empires with castles, crafting art, armor and trade. The Zynga Dallas team that created the game is part of Zynga’s Bonfire Studios acquisition.
“The game is also experimenting with new ways of being social, and self-expression. The basis of the game is around building the castle of your dreams and transforming the unexplored land into your very own kingdom. Along the way, you’ll encounter a number of characters, who are all involved in the storyline of the game; and can complete quests,” writes TechCrunch.
“The game has next-generation social features, including faster interactions and more focus on a player’s reputation for helping others,” according to Bill Jackson, creative director of CastleVille, reports TC. The expansion process is more complicated than in previous Zynga games, as where and when you expand has real impact on gameplay and could lead to wasting valuable Exploration Crystals – the currency that lets players progress.
In a corporate citizenship twist, when the game reaches 5 million Facebook ‘likes,’ Zynga will contribute a total of $100,000 to three recipient partners.
According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), an estimated 72% of American households play video games; the average gamer is 37 years old; 53% of gamers are between the ages of 18 and 49 and only 18% are under 18; 29% are age 50 or older.
Games are clearly no longer child’s play. Back in CastleVille, 68% of players are playing at least twice a day as digital gaming gives new meaning to territorial imperative.