Is Zynga about to rock Facebook with a new music game?
FarmVille maker Zynga purchased the Boston-based Conduit Labs, the creators of Super Dance and Music Pets on Facebook, on August 17. Neither of these games reached critical mass on Facebook (and in fact, Music Pets and Super Dance are now both officially closed), but this does seems like a possible indication that the Big Z is preparing to kick off the music game revolution on Facebook.
Think about it -- some of the the most popular social games outside of Facebook are music games. For years, many iterations of Rock Band and Guitar Hero have brought groups of people together to jam out on plastic instruments to hits from the past several decades. The games have brought in billions of dollars, and have helped make games more accessible to the masses. We've seen this music phenomenon translate fairly well onto iPhone with Tap Tap Revenge, Rock Band for iPhone and several other games, but we haven't seen a music game rock the Facebook gaming world.
That's starting to change, though. Booyah's Nightclub City, a nightclub simulation game that features dance music from real-life indie artists, broke into the top 25 Facebook games this past month. Heatwave's Platinum Life Web Edition, a hip-hop superstar sim game with licensed music and cartoon likenesses of real-life artists like Ludacris, has also been growing at a steady pace. The Las Vegas based Instant Action just launched a beta of its new music game Instant Jam -- a Guitar Hero clone that lets you play along to music in your personal digital library.
No one is better situated than Zynga to create a music game using the talent at Conduit Labs (now renamed Zynga Boston), launch it and then crank it up to 11 using the all-powerful game cross-promotion bar that sits atop FarmVille, Mafia Wars and all of Zynga's other wildly popular games, which means millions of guaranteed eyeballs for any new game.
Of course, this is all wild speculation, but just in case Zynga is on the hunt for a few ideas, these are mine: Mafia Wars: The Musical and The FarmVille Follies. What those would actually be like, I don't know -- I'll just leave it to the pros at Zynga to fill in the blanks.