Interview: Playdom’s City of Wonder Debut Reflects Social Gaming’s New Focus on Mobile

Crowdstar, Zynga and Playdom — three of the big social gaming companies which grew up on the Facebook platform — have all had launches on iOS in recent weeks that reflect evolving strategies in terms of thinking about the mobile space. Either through internal reorganization or acquisitions, all three companies are building out devoted mobile studios, instead of creating “companion” apps that exist primarily to promote their Facebook titles.

We talked to Playdom, which up until the launch of City of Wonder offered two apps in the iOS store. Although City of Wonder has fallen down the general free app charts since its launch nearly a month ago, it’s still in the top 100 for the platform’s highest-grossing apps.

“In the past, we viewed mobile as being an interesting adjunct, largely because the opportunity was there, but it was small relative to Facebook,” said Omar Siddiqui, who is vice president of game production overseeing City of Wonder and Gardens of Time at Playdom. “We would add a helper app or something that supported the web experience.”

Those “helper” apps for titles like Social City and Sorority Life would have some core features of the games on Facebook, but they were mostly targeted at hardcore fans, he explained.

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