It’s a well-known fact that Zynga is the number one social games company on Facebook by a long shot. A far more interesting fact to track is who is number 2?
For the longest time, the #2 and #3 positions have been dominated by Playfish and Playdom. But, now, CrowdStar is officially the number 2 social games company on Facebook based on Appdata. And, in the words of the Carpenters, they’ve only just begun.
Two trends are at play here.
One, both Playfish and Playdom have been acquired by larger game and media companies in the past year (EA and Disney, respectively). On the one hand, now Playfish and Playdom have in their arsenal a slew of media properties to develop games around. On the other hand, both are now kegs in larger corporations, not necessarily known for speed. The fact is that before the Disney acquisition, Playdom was releasing a new game twice a month. It’s been two months since the last Playdom game was released. This may be a good thing (the quality of all those game releases varied greatly). But, the truth is, once you have been acquired, the fire in the belly to work 24-7 and hit deadlines is quesched among the rank and file employees for whom future stock payouts do not reach.
Two, CrowdStar is kicking butt the past two weeks. CrowdStar has released two games in the past two weeks, It Girl and Pop Boom. Both do not involve farms and therefore are a little bit out of the box for CrowdStar and both are growing like crazy.
Not only that, but according to the Appdata data (which is really Facebook data), CrowdStar’s current slew of games are all growing.
CrowdStar is still way behind Zynga in terms of traffic, but they are well positioned to solidify their position as the #2 social games company. And, as any runner knows, sometimes it’s best to stay in the #2 position in a marathon than to be under the glare of #1.