Zynga accumulates 26m Cityville users in 2 weeks

Zynga accumulates 26m Cityville users in 2 weeks

By Rob Crossley

December 15th 2010 at 11:47AM

The social game giant could surpass revenues of $400m for the calendar year

Farmville creator Zynga has enjoyed predictably extraordinary success with its latest venture, CityVille, taking in over 26m users since December 2nd.

The casual Facebook game – which allows users to create and run their own city – is reported to be clocking over 26,600,000 monthly active users on Facebook.

CityVille is free to play but allows users to purchase additional in-game currency in exchange for real money.

Zynga was founded in July 2007 and has gone on to release a string of casual free-to-play games. It is also venturing into the mobile markets, having recently acquired the Words With Friends developer NewToy.

The social game giant could be on the verge of surpassing revenues of $400 million for the calendar year, independent data and user trends suggest.

IHS Screen Digest games analyst Piers Harding-Rolls has revealed some of his firm’s own research data to Develop, and calculates that the Facebook games group took in over $200 million in 2009.

He adds that the firm’s monthly active user volume has more than doubled in the last year alone.

That could mean the Farmville developer, co-founded by entrepreneur Mark Pincus in 2007, will have recorded over $400 million by the end of December. That alone would make it one of the game industry’s fastest growing companies of all time.

Zynga, which was recently valued above $5 billion – more than the longstanding publisher EA – has embarked on an unprecedented expansion operation in the last twelve months, opening studios across the US, in Japan, China, India and European nations such as Germany and Ireland.

The privately held firm’s revenues have never been disclosed, while its profit margin is a source of debate among city analysts. The expense of its buyout spree, aggressive hiring and studio expansion remains unclear.

The firm recently announced it will launch one of its most popular titles, Farmville, onto Japan’s most popular social networking service, Mixi.

Mixi’s monthly active users have reached the 14 million mark.

By the last count, Zynga's workforce was above 1,200.