With the closure of both EA’s The Sims Social and Zynga’s The Ville in 2013, fans of life simulation games seemed without hope on the Facebook platform. However, social game developer MegaZebra saw something interesting happen with its own title, Suburbia.
While the game was created in May of 2012, and experienced less-than-stellar popularity, the closure of The Sims Social and The Ville caused Suburbia to suddenly grow, even without the help of massive advertising budgets.
MegaZebra is obviously thrilled with the game’s newfound success, as it now has over 1.5 million monthly active users (MAU) and climbing, according to our app tracking service AppData. During the first half of 2013, the game was struggling to stay above 100,000 MAU.
MegaZebra attributes the game’s success to the title’s overarching storyline. In Suburbia, users move to Libertine Heights, where they’ll build a dream home while learning about the town’s mysterious citizens. Players inherit their uncle’s home and will interact with their neighbors, each with a different story to share. The team has worked with previous soap opera writers, as well as game industry veterans to ensure the storyline engages users over the long term.
More recently, the company shared a story of real-life romance, made possible by playing Suburbia. While it isn’t unusual for players to become friends with their social gaming neighbors, Belgian players Dimitri and Evelyn met playing Suburbia and fell in love.
“It is one of those moments that make us truly appreciate our job,” said MegaZebra. “We are utterly excited to see that Suburbia is more than a game and that it brings people together in the real world also.”
Suburbia is available to play for free on Facebook.