As Playdom’s new Social City continues to grow at a fast rate — it jumped into the top 20 applications by daily active users (DAU) by surpassing the 2.5 million mark – it doesn’t take Zynga long to ensure that it’s throwing a similar city-themed game into their portfolio. It’s very likely Zynga has been working on a Sim City-style game of its own for a while and they’ll be tracking down and out-marketing and out-spending their competitors much like they did with CrowdStar (it took 58 days to surpass Happy Aquarium when they launched FishVille) and Playfish (it took eight days to surpass Restaurant City after launching Café World, 36 days to surpass Pet Society after launching PetVille).
The first sign something is afoot is a bevy of ads launched on Facebook today by Zynga (featuring characters from FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Café World) looking for users to help “tell us what you think…makes a great social game?” This launches a user into a pre-screening survey, looking to recruit users to do a 30-minute interview over the phone (and in front of their PC using screen-sharing technology).
The survey then asks the user to choose which of 26 games they currently play regularly, with nary a CrowdStar title and only one title launched this year: Social City.
Users are then directly asked about Social City, specifically how often they play and what level they have reached so far.
Finally users are asked about an operating system and time slot that would work best for the 30 minute interview.
Clearly Zynga is getting more details about the interests and behaviors of Social City players and it’s likely that they are doing so to enhance or advance their own unreleased city-building title. Now we just have to figure out what they’ll name it (probably not HappyVille, Gogii Game’s recently launched PC download title).