By Aj Glaser From Inside Social Games
Zynga said that CastleVille broke 5 million daily active users over the weekend, putting it ahead of CityVille's record for 3.2 million DAU in six days to make CastleVille the fastest-growing Zynga game of all time.
Note that these figures do not yet exactly align with those reported by Facebook. It is possible that Facebook is a day or two behind in updating traffic numbers, as happens from time to time.
Even with the discrepancy in reported numbers, the following AppData chart of Zynga games'launch week traffic supports the claim that CastleVille is the fastest-growing Zynga game to date in terms of first-week growth.
CastleVille is a medieval-themed role-playing game that combines gameplay elements from FarmVille, FrontierVille, and CityVille with a lush cartoon art style and robust soundtrack provided by a full orchestra. Players customize their own avatar that then is responsible for building up a thriving kingdom and protecting it from attacks by "beasties." Social features are currently limited to visiting and gifting (although a trading system is planned for roughly a month after launch), and monetization mainly comes from premium decoration items, refilling the energy gauge, and purchasing "exploration" crystals that allow the player to expand into new areas of the map and discover new non-playable characters. In general, the game seems to enjoy a broader appeal than Zynga's recently launched Adventure World and Empires & Allies, both of which introduce gameplay mechanics popular with niche audiences (e.g. exploration, combat).
As for how CastleVille stacks up against EA Playfish'sThe Sims Social (its nearest competitor in size), it's still well behind where The Sims was in its first week of launch at 20.8 million MAU and 7.2 million DAU — largely because EA drummed up a great deal of pre-launch hype that funneled growth to the app before it was live. In terms of present-day numbers, CastleVille is on-track to surpass The Sims Social in MAU and DAU in the next 30 days if current growth and decline rates remain consistent for both titles.
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