International Apps Speed Ahead on This Week’s List of Emerging Facebook Games

This week’s AppData list of emerging Facebook games, defined as those still under a million monthly active users, contains some interesting nuggets, including the new Chinese-language version of FarmVille that we commented on earlier this morning:

Top Gainers This Week – Games

Name MAU Gain Gain,%
1. FarmVille 中文版326,301+326,171+250,901%
2. Big Business398,533+232,216+140%
3. Hero560,354+221,739+65%
4. Trial Madness 2512,123+205,181+67%
5. Paradise Life449,422+195,301+77%
6. My Vineyard879,549+190,961+28%
7. Galaxy X608,596+188,672+45%
8. Crazy Cabbie702,565+180,022+34%
9. Horse Saga556,785+177,580+47%
10. Farmandia913,768+169,117+23%
11. Little War677,496+153,925+29%
12. David Guetta, Play with it!424,014+120,004+39%
13. Gourmet Ranch539,880+111,879+26%
14. Dragons of Atlantis468,568+108,235+30%
15. Downhill Snowboard500,777+105,725+27%
16. My Shops239,137+99,889+72%
17. Ninjas Rising729,077+99,716+16%
18. Bricks Breaking429,696+91,808+27%
19. Classic Word Games319,859+83,497+35%
20. Santa Yourself289,487+83,468+41%

FarmVille 中文版 is more of an update and revamp than plan localized version, with changes in its graphics and user interface to make it more palatable to Facebook’s Chinese-language population, which is mostly composed of users in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

At number two, the new city-builder Big Business is doing quite well. The game goes beyond just constructing a city to include industrial production and trade, as we covered in our review several weeks ago.

Hero, while a somewhat shoddy-looking game, is doing quite well. There’s a reason for this: glaringly obvious violations of Facebook policies. Consider Hero’s forced wall posts, in which the app loads sharing screens with a pre-checked box to “Post to Facebook”:

Games and apps created by international companies, for more international audiences, often seem able to break Facebook’s rules without attracting attention, and benefit hugely from doing so. Western developers sometimes complain about Facebook is unpredictably strict in its treatment of them; instances like Hero suggest that complaints about disparities in enforcement have some validity.

The list is actually full of apps that deserve some remarks, but we’ll close out with two more comments. First, the list is still fairly well-populated by casual and arcade titles like Trial Madness 2 and Crazy Cabbie, which have been showing up for several weeks now. And second, My Vineyard, a title that Playdom picked up in an acquisition, has suddenly started growing, as several other Playdom titles have.