Zynga expands social gaming empire with CityVille

cityville.top.jpgPlayers will get to be urban planners in Zynga's new CityVille game. By Julianne Pepitone, staff writer


SAN FRANCISCO (CNNMoney.com) -- Social gaming giant Zynga, the developer of FarmVille, is readying a fresh hit for its addicts: CityVille.

CityVille -- which Zynga calls its "most social game" so far -- is the company's first global launch, with versions coming out simultaneously in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. A beta version will be available in the next few weeks, Zynga announced late Wednesday.

To play CityVille, gamers set up restaurants and businesses, export goods via trains and boats, build schools and clear land for city expansion. It's a scenario that will feel familiar to fans of SimCity, the "build your own metropolis" game that debuted in 1989 and launched a string of bestselling sequels.

CityVille's "more social" layer lies in cross-city communication: Players can interact with their friends' cities by franchising businesses, sending over goods and establishing trade relationships. CityVille's graphics are also sharper than those in Zynga's past games, including the first 3-D buildings and characters in a Zynga game.

Zynga has an audience of more than 225 million users playing its games each month through its Facebook, MySpace, iPad and iPhone applications. The company is one of Silicon Valley's hottest startups, drawing intense interest from investors.

Zynga creator Mark Pincus spoke briefly on Tuesday at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. In a vague talk that lasted less than 10 minutes, Pincus said he wants to "dog activate" the Web -- that is, make Zynga's canine logo as ubiquitous as the Facebook icon. If a Zynga logo pops up, users will know their friends are logged on and playing one of the company's games.

Pincus said he wants to roll out that feature within the year.

-- CNNMoney.com video producer Mason Cohn contributed to this report. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,841.98 -86.22 -0.48%
Nasdaq 4,919.64 -19.68 -0.40%
S&P 500 2,080.15 -9.31 -0.45%
Treasuries 2.24 0.06 2.94%
Data as of 3:51am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.29 -0.06 -0.37%
Apple Inc 124.49 0.00 0.00%
Microsoft Corp 46.28 -1.32 -2.77%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 14.72 -1.14 -7.19%
Frontier Communicati... 5.94 -0.80 -11.87%
Data as of May 6
Sponsors

Sections

Keep an eye on you burgers. After 13 years, the Hamburglar is back at McDonald's. More

Good news for people in Texas and North Dakota: McGladrey chief economist Joe Brusuelas believes the painful period of layoffs is largely done. More

Big Idea Week kicked off in New York City, and it brings the entrepreneurship of the tech industry -- and its workers -- into the classroom. More

Lori Greiner, an investor on ABC's "Shark Tank" offered advice for women looking to be more successful in business. More