CityVille is the Biggest Social Game In History

You might have seen some headlines last month stating that CityVille had surpassed FarmVille to become the biggest game on Facebook. This was technically true. On the day the news dropped, CityVille had 61 million monthly players, compared to FarmVille’s 56 million.

But I felt that the stories were a little misleading. CityVille had only surpassed FarmVille because the farming sim has been slowly but steadily losing players for the past 10 months or so. At its peak, around March 2010, FarmVille had nearly 84 million monthly players. So CityVille owed its #1 status as much to FarmVille shrinking as it did to its own growth.

But as of this week, CityVille can drop the asterisk from its World’s Biggest Social Game title. The game now has an astonishing 90.6 million monthly players. This surpasses FarmVille’s peak player record by a wide margin. Even more amazing, the game is not yet showing signs of slowing down. As of now, CityVille is on pace to surpass 100 million monthly players in just four or five more days.

While this is incredibly good news for Zynga, there still might be a small cause for concern. Monthly players (players that check in at least once a month) are certainly important, but daily players is the stat that truly matters. And in a comparison of daily players, CityVille isn’t as dominant. It is still the biggest, with 17.6 million daily players compared to FarmVille’s 15.5 million, but the stats seem to indicate that more players are checking out CityVille once and not returning, when compared to Zynga’s other titles.

Right now, 19% of CityVille’s monthly players are checking in per day. FarmVille, in comparison, enjoys a 27% DAU/MAU ratio.

This still takes nothing away from CityVille’s incredible feats. We’re excited to see just how high the game can go!

* Thanks to AppData for the player stats.

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  1. January 14th, 2011