YoVille almost at 8m?

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Apr 012009

Virtual Worlds News tallies the latest YoVille numbers and arrives at 7.8 million monthly uniques. This is by summing the MySpace and Facebook usage reported by GigaOM, which likely means that there’s overlap in users. But still — impressive monthly growth given that it was less than a month ago that I wondered if YoVille was bigger than WoW in North America.

While at GDC, I talked with a lot of folks about YoVille, and generally the comment was “but it’s just nto very good!” Unlike WoW’s dominance in the AAA MMORPG space, I do think that YoVille is vulnerable to competitors; the audience has been only lightly exposed to the variety and possibility that exists in VWs, so there’s a lot of potential for other experiences to come in and grab lots of users.

YoVille bigger than WoW in NA?

 Posted by (Visited 18461 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Mar 032009

Back in July of 2008, I pointed out YoVille, a Facebook MMO that runs as an app. Back then, it had 150,000 daily uniques.

Today, I’m here to tell you that YoVille is almost certainly more popular than WoW in North America.

The Top 25 Facebook Games for March 2009 and The Top 25 MySpace Games for March 2009 are a pair of posts over at the Inside Social Games blog. And what do they say? That YoVille has 2.26m users on MySpace and 4.46m on Facebook. And yes, these are monthly uniques.

Now, there is probably some overlap between the stats on the two services. And there is little doubt that WoW makes a lot more money, and is a lot more game.

But we should not be quick to discount this. More game and better art can be added. YoVille is a virtual world: it has avatars, money, inventory and housing. It has embedded games. It has a map. It has chat and persistence. And it’s in Flash. Oh, and they picked up 1m users in the last month.

Amid all the hoopla over whether there is room to go around WoW, here’s an answer.

Zynga gets money, buys Yoville

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Jul 232008

Zynga has raised a bunch of money to keep going after their target of building a network of more casual games — a sort of Internet version of a publisher. In fact, ex-EA Chief Creative Officer Bing Gordon has joined their board.

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus says:

He is super-involved in product strategy, brings the gaming DNA to us, and is an amazing CEO coach. He’s already stopped us from doing stupid things.

Like what?

Stupid things like build a PC downloadable MMO game that would cost anywhere from $5 million to $30 million, and would be free to play with virtual goods.

Meow. 😉 But hey, 1.6m daily users can’t be wrong. It’s a serious challenge to the status quo, an example of the mammals going after the dinosaurs. That said, Pincus also says that it’s likely that costs will rise and production values have to improve as more competition and richer experiences enter the arena.

They also picked up Yoville, the Facebook MMO that gets 150,000 daily uniques (see a video), with a 13% tie ratio (today’s stats) — just since May. Those are stats that again, most of the “mainstream” MMOs would love to have.