If you haven’t heard of King.com yet, you must not be playing Facebook games in 2012. The company has shot through the ranks to become a top competitor in the social games space recently, duking it out with the likes of Zynga and wooga on a daily basis. With such meteoric success, it’s no surprise to hear that the company is expanding. They’ve just announced a new London-based studio, and they’ve tapped a pretty notable name in social games to head it up.

Formerly an executive producer at Playfish (and then after the acquisition, EA), Catherina Lavers Mallet will be running the new King.com studio in London. While the name may not ring any bells, some of the projects she’s worked on might. Have you heard of a little something called The Sims Social? Thought so.

“I am thrilled to be setting up a new studio for King.com. I am excited by the company’s vision to be number one in the casual social games category, and have been very impressed by the team and the original IP they have built,” said Mallet. “I am completely addicted to their latest game, Candy Crush Saga, and am looking forward to helping further build on the company’s momentum.”

And there’s a lot of momentum. With 47.5 million monthly active users (MAU), they’re the #2 games publisher on Facebook – putting them ahead of wooga (43.5m), EA (42.7m) and Playdom (25.5m).

Still – even combined, these companies are running a distant second behind Zynga (252.2M).

But with seemingly limitless growth potential, and everything they touch turning to gold lately, could King.com be the company that might finally give Zynga a run for their money? I suppose we’ll just have to see what their new London studio can cook up.