Hero City is a Facebook game from developer Paprika Lab that soft-launched on the platform toward the end of April. Thought it hasn’t yet had a big marketing push, Hero City saw enough organic growth to come in at number one on our list of emerging Facebook games last week.
Hero City combines city-building gameplay and adds a layer of superhero camp on top. Players build and upgrade structures to improve the city and then collect superheroes to come live in their city. More superheroes means more advantages when undertaking the game’s quests, and will also give players the upper hand in player-vs-player gameplay, which the developer tells us is due to be added to the game soon.
Paprika Lab CEO John Kim believes that the superheroes give the game a unique spin over other city-building titles on Facebook. “As developers, we’ve grown up watching superhero comic books and movies where superheroes save the city and the world from villains,” he says. “So it seemed pretty natural to combine the superhero and city concepts together.”
The game is currently monetized through the purchase of “instant finish” items to complete buildings quicker, the purchase of in-game standard currency and resources, special buildings and superheroes. Facebook Credits are used as the game’s sole premium currency. The developer has experimented with using its own proprietary hard currency in its previous game Pirate Legacy, and Kim notes that there are “pros and cons to adopting each system.”
“We’ll be rolling out new features around superheroes where some new monetization features might come in,” he adds. “But as mentioned [previously], we don’t want to hurt the user experience by bombarding users with overwhelming monetization features.”
The developer is planning on expanding the game in a number of different ways. Besides simply adding more content in the form of more buildings, decorations and superheroes, Kim says that the game will also be incorporating battles with supervillains, as well as the ability to challenge other players’ heroes in player-vs-player gameplay.
Hero City is not Paprika Lab’s only project, but Kim hopes that it will help the developer form a distinctive brand for Paprika to trade on with future and other existing games. “Our focus is not only to merely make new games, but also to have some sort of a unique taste and style of experience where users will know that this game is made by Paprika Lab,” he says. “We think we haven’t reached that point yet, but basically, we want to create a Paprika Lab brand gaming experience, such as you’d find from Blizzard, Square Enix and id Software games.”
Hero City has enjoyed steady growth since its late April launch, with slightly larger jumps in MAU occurring at the start of the week for the last two weeks. At its current rate of growth, the game will pass a million monthly active users within a week.
You can follow Hero City’s progress with AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.