Zynga teaming up with Eruptive Games for Citizen Grim

Vancouver-based Eruptive Games has announced that it’s partnering with Zynga to publish its next game, Citizen Grim, on both Facebook and Zynga.com.

Citizen Grim is an open-world action game where players fight through hordes of “Reapers” (read: zombies). The title is designed to visually mimic pulp 1940s artwork and features 3D graphics. Gameplay is broken up into third-person action sequences where players fend off waves of Reapers, base building and exploration of the surrounding environment. Spending a few minutes with the game provides an experience that is reminiscent of Blizzard’s popular Diablo titles.

When asked why Eruptive decided to go with Zynga, CEO Julian Ing says it’s due to a combination of factors, but the main selling point is the company’s critical mass of users. According to Ing, Eruptive was being pursued by a number of developers but Zynga contacted  him and presented a much better offer than any of them.

Zynga teaming up with Eruptive for Citizen Grim shows that the company is still interested in tapping into the oft-targeted core gamer market. Zynga’s own foray into the field, Empires & Allies, has fallen from its June 2011 high point of 7.7 million DAU to 760,000, but we’ve also been hearing reports from industry sources that the FarmVille publisher is looking to purchase a developer of these types of games.

Eruptive’s name may sound familiar, since we awarded the studio’s 2010 action title Mercenaries of War was one of our Top 10 Facebook Games of 2010. Although we liked the game, it wasn’t able to find a large audience on the social network and peaked in December 2010 with 40,678 daily active users before falling to the current level of 2,000 DAU. Since then, the company’s been relatively quiet, working on both Citizen Grim and the upcoming Rise of Villains with Syfy.

As of right now, Citizen Grim is in a kind of soft launch, where the game is playable on Facebook but Eruptive hasn’t advertised it at all, and Ing tells us the title will probably officially launch under the Zynga banner both on Facebook and Zynga.com sometime in October.