FarmVille maker Zynga unveils CityVille


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For all those social gamers unmoved by the rural charms of Zynga’s popular FarmVille, the developer has released a far more cosmopolitan option.

In CityVille, players will build a metropolis from scratch, creating a community that they will preside over as mayor. The game will launch in coming weeks in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish on Facebook, which also hosts FarmVille.


San Francisco-based Zynga also makes the MafiaWars and FrontierVille games, with hundreds of millions of players total.

The concept of CityVille is “Monopoly meets Main Street,” said Sean Kelly, the game’s general manager, in a statement. Users will build from the ground up –- clearing the land, assembling roads, then building post offices, schools, fire departments and businesses -– all rendered in 3-D.

They’ll run sales at local shops to keep the economy healthy, decorate homes to justify higher rents, even build train systems and piers to encourage trade with other players.

“Instead of harvesting crops you’re harvesting your neighborhood,” Kelly said.

Interactivity will be key. Players can visit each others’ cities and even operate business franchises there. And as the urban sprawl expands, more characters will be available –- doctors, policemen, businesses owners, residents and more.

It’s a bit more ambitious than managing a farm, and it also sounds similar to the SimCity game. Wonder if Villaraigosa plans to give it a spin.

Kelly and others explain the mechanics in this YouTube video:



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-- Tiffany Hsu