Developer PerBlue is following up sleeper location-based hit Parallel Kingdom with Parallel Mafia, a new social location game for iOS and Android devices that lets players establish a criminal empire in a cyberpunk future.
Parallel Mafia casts players as future criminals and gang members, staking out territories of real world cities they occupy. Parallel Mafia’s territories overlay Google maps, much like how Parallel Kingdom works. In Parallel Mafia, players establish buildings (“Fronts”) they must maintain in order to gain money and extend their influence in the game world. Other players can visit these Fronts and perform jobs to earn money; if the player who owns a Front doesn’t maintain it regularly, they risk losing control of the building to another person who visits it more often.
Players can choose to wage war on each other and NPCs, but there’s also an option for those who want to pursue a less violent rise to power. Should someone want their character to be a “gangster with a heart of gold,” a player can grow their empire peacefully solely through establishing and maintaining Fronts.
Although the game won’t initially launch on Facebook, Brand Director Forrest Woolworth says there is a strong possibility it could come to the social network. Woolworth notes that a Web version of the game depends on its success on mobile devices.
The company’s first game, Parallel Kingdoms has proven successful for PerBlue. It has a userbase of more than one million players, with the average player’s lifetime value exceeding $95. The Facebook version has fared less well, peaking with just over 10,000 monthly active users shortly after its launch. It has been holding steady at approximately 4,000 MAU since then. According to Woolworth, the company is earning over $100,000 a month in revenues from Parallel Kingdom.
While porting a location-based title like Parallel Mafia to browsers and Facebook is complicated, Woolworth explains it’s not impossible since a user’s IP address can be used to establish their location. The company has no plans to bring the game to Google+.
PerBlue raised $800,000 in Series A funding in 2010, led by the Marquette Golden Angels network. The Madison, WI-based developer is currently hiring for a number of positions. Parallel Mafia will launch for mobile devices iOS and Android on April 4, 2012.