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 17,102.59 31.37 0.18%
Nasdaq 4,508.36 2.51 0.06%
S&P 500 1,978.41 0.61 0.03%
Treasuries 2.49 -0.00 -0.04%
Data as of 12:24pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 14.73 -0.38 -2.51%
eBay Inc 56.50 3.85 7.30%
Bank of America Corp... 17.05 0.04 0.24%
Apple Inc 101.19 1.08 1.08%
Facebook Inc 79.59 0.59 0.75%
Data as of 12:09pm ET

Sections

CNNMoney's Italian-American investing correspondents did a taste test of Olive Garden's food. They agree with hedge fund Starboard: It's not very appetizing. More

Even limited air operations could cost up to $4 billion a year, says a think tank, while large ground forces could cost $1.8 billion a month. More

Testing whether the iPhone 6 Plus BendGate controversy is real, some are testing it out in Apple Stores. More

On Wednesday, 17% of First Green Bank's 66 employees will get a raise under the company's new "living wage" program. The guarantee: At least about $30,000 a year. More

Case-Shiller's national index shows that price gains slowed in July for the seventh straight month. 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.