Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hotel City. Playfish is Back! 3M DAU Projected in the First 8 Weeks

Per the headline, I'm projecting 3M DAU in the first 8 weeks. That would be unprecedented for a Playfish title, but makes good linkbait. :)

I had started to worry about Playfish. Poker Rivals and Gangster City are frankly not very good social games. It's understandable, both games were attempts to stretch into Zynga territory, but outside of what Playfish has mastered: cute decorating games with light social interaction.

Hotel City is an iteration of the hotel genre that was initially popularized in China. The genre hasn't seen much success here, mostly because the games were just moved over from Chinese networks without good localization and left to rot.

Hotel City is a hit. It will be large and it will be copied. Should hit 3M DAU within the first 8 weeks if Playfish markets as aggressively as Playdom did for Social City.

High points:
Nearly infinite customization from a very basic building block (the boxy hotel room). Decoration games work best when they start from a very simple palette as they allow the users to run wild. Hotel City accomplishes this in spades.

New viral feature. Playfish has never been strong on viral, so I'm very please to see that in order to hire friends as employees, you need to post a employment notice in your FB stream. Expect to see that adopted by others rapidly. Feels like something Zynga would have come up with for Cafe World. Haven't played Cafe World in awhile so please no flaming comments if they innovated this technique.

Prediction: Hotel City feels much like a dollhouse, which is the logical variation for a cloner who wants to differentiate and target the female market. Sorry kids, and already taken.

Hugh, feel free to use this writeup in the competitive report. :)

UPDATE: Hotel City reached 3M DAU in five weeks rather than 8 weeks.  For exactly one day, then it fell victim to the changes in Facebook's viral channels and fell.  I won three dinners - Max (with that new Playdom money you can treat me nice.)