Social games giant Zynga has recently announced the global launch of a new title; CityVille. Trying their hand at cashing in on “city builder” type games, Zynga’s newest offering will allow players to build their dream city from the ground up. Zynga is touting the new title to be their most social game yet, and allows players not only to build their own dream city, but also interact with friends’ cities, as well as build franchises with the help of these friends.
This newest offering from the big Z will be their first international game launch in multiple languages; English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. Clearly, that worldwide buying spree that Zynga’s been on is starting to bare it’s fruit.
The CityVille launch arrives hot on the heels of Zynga’s recent FrontierVille launch, a title which has attracted over 28 million monthly users. CityVille is reported to feature the biggest sprawling game board in Zynga’s titles, allowing players to construct massive cities; all the while balancing the needs of citizens, running businesses and, … you guessed it – harvesting crops. And while one Zynga ‘Ville’ after the other look and feel more or less like carbon copies of each other, CityVille will feature Zynga’s first 3D rendered buildings and characters.
“CityVille is where Monopoly meets Main Street,” said Sean Kelly, GM of CityVille. “We are thrilled to bring the world our most social game to date – building on the best-of-breed gameplay that Zynga fine-tuned with FarmVille and FrontierVille. Instead of harvesting crops you’re harvesting your neighborhood, instead of clearing your friend’s frontier you’re working on a friend’s franchise. We hope players from around the world have as much fun playing CityVille as we had building it.”
Selected game features as provided by Zynga:
- City Building – Build your town from the ground up! Once the land is cleared, make way for deliveries by assembling a road. Keep your residents out and about by building restaurants, stores and city services such as post offices, schools and fire departments. Build homes for your townies, and earn more money for your city by decorating them to increase the rent.
- Run Your City – A happy city, is a lucrative city. Plan the layout to make residents happy, and earn money as they eat and shop. Keep them well fed at restaurants, and run sales at businesses to attract a crowd.
- The People – Your characters won’t all look the same – dozens of characters and city officials will be available on launch day, including the ones who keep the city running – business owners, doctors, firemen and police officers. More people will become available as your city expands.
- Goods & Trading – Goods and trading are the lifeblood of your thriving city. Plant and harvest crops to keep restaurants stocked, and population stuffed. Send ships to import goods from places such as Shanghai, London and Rome to give your townies a taste of a different culture, and buy more storage, piers and farm plots to grow the city rapidly. Trading between players is encouraged – buy or sell goods to others to avoid stomach rumblings.
- Neighbor Cities – Love thy neighbor. Visit your neighbors’ cities to help them secure more energy, decorations and collectible items. Be a good buddy by helping friends accelerate crop growth, expedite shipping times and construct buildings faster. Send them gifts to finish city service buildings and clear ground for them to build on. You can even own something in a friend’s city. As you go you earn experience and buy things for your own collections and to share with more friends.
- Commerce & Franchises – Put that economics class to good use and grow your city. Trade with neighbors by buying or selling goods sent by rail. Offer goods to friends or buy their extra supplies when they come by to offer them. Deliver supplies via trains running at the edge of your town between all the neighbor cities. Friends can also run businesses in your city. Build an empire of business locations but don’t forget to supply them with goods. The more locations you get, the bigger you can grow your business headquarters in your own city.
- Guided Play – As the city leader you must guide your city to become a thriving metropolis. The city advisor will always show you fun things to try next to make a great metropolis. Once tasks are complete, you can unlock rare buildings and decorations.
This ‘Ville’ now makes the sixth in Zynga’s franchise: FarmVille, FrontierVille, YoVille, FishVille, and PetVille. I’m putting $20 down on the next Zynga title: SpaceVille, or FinalFrontierVille. One or the other. Yes, Zynga has made some great games, that clearly, people like to play, but isn’t it time that Zynga steps out of it’s Ville zone, and start delivering new concepts? Even Sean Kelly’s statement surrounding the project admits that they’ve taken the best parts of FarmVille and FrontierVille and simply reskinned and reinjected them into a new game. How long can Zynga really keep the gathering/harvesting and time management theme going? For a company that’s supposedly at the top of it’s game, I for one, and severely underwhelmed with this newest offering. But at the end of the day … if players keep on playing (and buying), clearly the market has spoken.