Playfish Replaces Zynga Atop This Week’s List of Emerging Facebook Games

Last week, Zynga’s Poker Blitz led our list of emerging Facebook games still under a million monthly active users. This week, Blitz has graduated on, and it is Hotel City, by Electronic Arts subsidiary Playfish, that leads off. But besides coming from two of the largest social gaming companies around, the two couldn’t be more different; Blitz is a card game, while Hotel City has players manage their own virtual hotel.

As we note over at Inside Facebook, another week could see Hotel City among EA’s top five properties. Unlike Zynga, EA only has a couple of really big hits; all Hotel City has to do is pass 1.4 million players to beat Who Has The Biggest Brain?, an aging Playfish brain-training game.

Here’s the full list:

Top Gainers This Week – Games
Name MAU Gain↓ Gain, %
1.icon Hotel City752,444+676,357+888.93
2.icon Family Feud336,606+271,987+420.91
3.icon Send Free Farmville Gifts392,015+246,544+169.48
4.icon Ameba Pico734,762+240,557+48.68
5.icon Bola975,372+219,498+29.04
6.icon PoxNora468,350+197,235+72.75
7.icon RockFREE198,688+142,938+256.39
8.icon Glamble Poker952,317+135,610+16.60
9.icon 武俠風雲156,097+127,644+448.61
10.icon Island Life537,197+112,501+26.49
11.icon My Tribe129,366+110,238+576.32
12.icon NanoTowns351,357+108,562+44.71
13.icon Aquarium Life583,235+103,603+21.60
14.icon Keyboard SMASH!129,600+96,606+292.80
15.icon Puzzle Bobble831,947+92,174+12.46
16.icon Fish Friends155,337+86,808+126.67
17.icon Fashion City316,169+76,804+32.09
18.icon Daily Tarot Cards100,408+74,389+285.90
19.icon Mall World131,841+73,496+125.97
20.icon Garden Life766,169+70,438+10.12

Family Feud is part game, part quiz show. Players seem to be gravitating to the 80s nostalgia of Feud, ably recreated by iWin, Inc. and Backstage, with most of the players in the game’s two-week run showing up last week.

Send Free Farmville Gifts is, of course, just a scam capitalizing on FarmVille’s name. It’s followed by a pair of foreign-made games. Ameba Pico, by CyberAgent, is of Japanese origin, while Bola, a soccer team management game, is by Argentina’s Three Melons. Of course, Three Melons is technically of dual nationality now, since Playdom just bought the company.

PoxNora, a turn-based strategy game by Sony Online Entertainment, is picking up in terms of MAU, but the game’s DAU is dismal; only four percent of monthly users return daily. It could be that players who really enjoy the game are dropping Facebook’s clunky Flash implementation for the downloadable version, which is a bit smoother.

Skipping down a few places to numbers 10 and 11 we find Island Life and My Tribe, which share more than a few similarities. Both are set on islands, for instance, and both involve the usual farming and time management techniques. More importantly, they’re both games by well-known casual gaming companies that got a slow start on Facebook, respectively Metaplace and Big Fish Games. We reviewed them here and here.