Electronic Arts is making some big waves in the social gaming world this week amid rumors the company is buying PopCap Games a direct competitor of Zynga. But that’s not the only news regarding EA and social gaming. In the fierce competition for the next top game title on Facebook, EA announced that it would be bring the world’s most popular life simulation game “The Sims” to the world’s biggest social network “Facebook”.
You read it here first: After some domain name sleuthing, I have strong evidence that Zynga will answer EA’s challenge with its own yet-to-be released life simulation game on Facebook called Familyville.
That’s right Zynga fans, along with other blockbuster titles like Cityville and Farmville, Zynga may be launching Familyville sooner than later in response to EA’s announcement in early June.
Some Whois history and recent name server changes on the domain name Familyville.com are what lead me to believe that Zynga is working on its next mega hit.
In March 2011, ownership of the domain familyville.com changed from its previous owner (Internet Computing) to Rob Holmes – founder & CEO of IPCybercrime, the very same company that acquired the domain cityville.com on behalf of Zynga for $38,225 at Moniker in June 2010.
Cityville went on to become the first game in Facebook history to reach 100 million monthly active users.
Here’s a look at the Whois record from March 2011.
Domain name: familyville.com
Rob Holmes (rob @ipcybercrime.com)
Plano, TX 75074
In late April though, the Whois record switched again, this time to GoDaddy’s Domains by Proxy, a Whois privacy service regularly used by Zynga for many of its domain names such as rewardville.com.
Another change occurred just this week, with the domain name changing from its previous name server to COTDNS.NET, the same nameserver where many of Zynga’s most popular domains reside, including rewardville.com and hangingwithfriends.com.
The Sims Social on Facebook hasn’t been released just yet.
But if this rumor of mine proves to be true, EA may want to speed things up a bit on Facebook.
As of today, Zynga has not filed for a trademark on the word familyville in the U.S. or Europe. But there’s nothing odd about that; Zynga didn’t file for a trademark on Empires and Allies until shortly after its launch.
With social gaming competition becoming fierce, Zynga has gotten smarter with its trademark filings and domain name registrations.