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 16,979.13 59.54 0.35%
Nasdaq 4,526.48 -1.03 -0.02%
S&P 500 1,986.51 4.91 0.25%
Treasuries 2.43 0.02 0.87%
Data as of 6:10am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.52 0.07 0.45%
Apple Inc 100.57 0.04 0.04%
General Electric Co 26.36 0.31 1.19%
Intel Corp 34.50 0.16 0.47%
Staples Inc 11.32 -0.30 -2.62%
Data as of Aug 20

Sections

This month, Delaware became the first state to pass a law giving heirs the right to access the online accounts and assets of someone who has passed away. More

Median income is up 3.8% since 2011, though it's still down since the economic recovery began in 2009. More

Small business owners say the economy is still their biggest challenge, which keeps them from expanding and hiring, according to a CNNMoney-Manta survey. More

This month, Delaware became the first state to pass a law giving heirs the right to access the online accounts and assets of someone who has passed away. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.