CityVille killer? Zynga's Empires & Allies rockets to 23 million players

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Empires & AlliesFor all intents and purposes, it's crazy town at Zynga HQ right now. Empires & Allies, the studio's newest Facebook game, has reached over 23 million monthly players in just over two weeks since June 1, according to AppData. Actually, we're getting an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu in the office--oh yeah, CityVille enjoyed the same insane growth in almost exactly the same time frame.

In December of last year, the city-builder soared to 22 million players in less than two weeks. And we all know what happened afterward: The game continued to reign in players until it peaked at 101 million this January. (CityVille now enjoys a healthy chunk of that with over 90 million players.)

With the way Empires & Allies is going, this new strategy combat game could enjoy the same success as CityVille, if not eclipse it considering its potential hardcore appeal. In fact, the game has already accumulated nearly half of its predecessor's daily players with 7.7 million, though it's too early to tell whether that number will sustain over time. It's already clear that Zynga has struck gold yet again, as E&A has eclipsed several of the company's offerings that have been around for some time including FrontierVille, Mafia Wars and Cafe World. E&A could even be the second game to surpass FarmVille. Now isn't that a scary thought?

So, how did Zynga do it? Well, with promotions in FarmVille and CityVille regarding Empires & Allies, it's no surprise that the game has gotten this far. Not to mention that the game already is featured in RewardVille and above every Zynga game out there via the bar that sits above each of them. However, what we think is truly going to hook more gamers is its target demographic--those 90 million plus CityVille fans.

Much of the game is quite similar it is to its predecessor, softening the barrier to entry that the game's combat might present. Either way, with two new mobile games in Hanging with Friends and CityVille Hometown, and now another mega hit Zynga just might be able to afford that vacation to Mars for its staff. Oops, did we ruin the surprise?

Do you think Empires & Allies will emulate CityVille's rampant success and growth? Could this end up being the company's new number one social game? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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