With Zynga’s latest Facebook game Cityville topping the charts as the most popular Facebook game in 2010, I thought I’d offer up a few predictions on Zynga’s next blockbuster game title in 2011. With Cityville, Farmville, and Frontierville numbering daily users in the millions, one can only guess what’s next for Zynga, like another game with “ville” in the title.
Back in late 2009, the game publisher went on a trademarking spree as pointed out by Games.com.
Libe Goad, wrote: “Zynga, the social game publisher responsible for FarmVille, PetVille, Mafia Wars and more, went on a trademarking spree during the month of December, securing 21 names for potential new games. Of course, many of the names follow the end with ‘ville,’ including TreasureVille, FrontierVille, CrimeVille and AnimalVille.”
The complete list of trademarks (which can viewed easily over at Trademarkia) included: Pet Hospital, Poker Blitz, Safari World, Treasureville, Zoo city, zoo island, mafia world, hotelville, hotel world, hospital world, hospitalville, frontierville, frontier world, frontier, crimeville, crime world, casino world, casino blitz, bountyville, animal world and animalville.
While FrontierVille ended up as one of the top Facebook games, it wasn’t until June 23, 2010, that the company purchased the domain name Cityville.com for $38,225 at Moniker – in what would turn out to be the single biggest game ever on Facebook.
The game title Cityville, has spawned hundreds of domain registrations and websites with “cityville” in the name, ranging from CityvilleGuide.com to CityvilleGamecheats.net.
Zynga is known for using a myriad of companies and individuals for registering domain names, so predicting the next big game title might prove to be much harder. For example, the company used IP Cybercrime LLC to register its Cityville.com domain.
What are your predictions for Zygna game titles in 2011?
Will the game developer go with a “ville” name? A “world” name?
Is the company somehow behind the recent buys of Songville.com, Dreamville.com, or Slotsville.com on Sedo? Or maybe RestaurantWorld.com (which was purchased for nearly $8,000 in September)?
The company has plenty of names to choose from, but who owns those names is the question. As I wrote about before, though Zynga might use a certain title for a game, it doesn’t always own the domain (even after launching the game).
Petville.com was launched in 2009 by Zynga, and the company acquired the domain name Petville.com from its previous owners for an undisclosed amount. Visit Petville.com, and a message at the top of the site reads: ‘the content that was previously found at petville.com can now be found at ipawz.com’.
Though Zynga owns Petville.com, Farmville.com and other ville domain names, it doesn’t own Fishville.com – which saw a spike in traffic according to Compete when the site launched in November 2009. It appears Zynga and the owners of Fishville.com couldn’t come to an agreement, but Zynga is doing just fine – its Fishville game owns nearly all the top spots on Google, and the company does own the .net which it uses for the game’s home page.
Why Cityville is so hot
If you’re wondering what Zynga is doing to make its’ games so popular, Gamasutra the online gaming magazine, has an interesting write up titled: How Zynga’s CityVille Has Compelled 70 Million Players.
If you still haven’t checked out Cityville yet, here’s some gameplay footage provided by IGN.