PyramidVille is a city building Facebook game from French social game developer Kobojo, which recently secured $7.5 million in funding to put toward expansion and acceleration plans. Since that time, PyramidVille has shown rapid growth for the month of June that puts it toward the top of our fastest-growing Facebook games both by monthly active users and daily active users.
The premise of PyramidVille is simple and similar to other city-building games. Set in ancient Egypt, the player is given a plot of land that has to be cleared and cultivated for urban growth. Players build homes, workshops and functional decorations called wonders, as well as grow crops and tend to animals. There are additional decorations such as pots of flowers and fences for players to customize their city. Everything takes both in-game currency and raw materials to build, which is where the game adds in social features through trade.
While the game starts players off with a small cache of supplies for building, it eventually asks players to craft their own materials for more complex quests. Any material that can be crafted is added to the player’s inventory, which the game dips into for friend gifting. This is a contrast to other city-building games that create giftable items whenever the player wants to send a gift or answer a request for a gift. Additionally, friends cannot rescue withered crops’ while visiting a friend’s city. These choices create a deeper sense of community instead of the simple “click-fests” of some city building games.
The most remarkable feature in PyramidVille is the level of polish in graphics, such as the ripple of water in a trough, bees buzzing around hives, as well as animated workshops that appear active while in production. The polish also includes all the functional perks that players of Facebook games seek such as the sorting of friends who play the game, a timer which informs the player when a friends city is ready for a visit for the player to earn rewards, as well as the ability to use the scroll wheel of the mouse to zoom and out of the game.
PyramidVille monetizes through its premium currency, Gemmes, which can be spent on special items or on gameplay acceleration. The game’s standard currency, gold, can be bought with Facebook Credits or earned in-game. A third currency, Orbs of Anubis, is only available for purchase with Gemmes and it is spent on super powers that can do things like revive all your wilted crops or collect all the taxes in your city in one click. The super powers feature was only recently added to the game.Representatives from Kobojo were unavailable at time of writing to discuss future plans for the game. When we last spoke with the developer, VP product and strategy Vincent Vergonjeanne told us that Kobojo would invest most if its newly-acquired funding into marketing its games on Facebook and into expanding its localization efforts. It looks like both have brought in new users to PyramidVille, with the game’s traffic leaping from about 1.4 million to past the 2 million mark in just the last week, during which time the game was localized in Italian and Spanish. Vergonjeanne also mentioned a piece of proprietary technology that would be used to port PyramidVille and other games to mobile platforms, but we cannot confirm if that has happened yet.
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