Pretty Simple Games, the studio behind Criminal Case, announced today that they have surpassed every single Zynga title to become Facebook’s 2nd most popular game, behind King.com’s Candy Crush. The crime-solving social game has 9 Million Daily Active Users(DAUs), 17 Million likes on Facebook, and the highest rating in the Facebook top ten, putting them at one of the hottest social games on the market.
Introducing the fastest growing french startup EVER. http://t.co/lQql0kt3eY
— Julien Codorniou (@codorniou) June 4, 2013
The game is quite simple – players find clues (23 Million of them per day in total), discover suspects (30 Million per day), and arrest the murderers behind the crime (1.3 Million per day). The average user plays the game with 20+ friends, putting the social element at the forefront of the game.
This couldn’t come at a worse time for Zynga, who previously had the habit of buying up promising games studios like OMGPOP, a studio whose staff it laid off this week as part of a major layoff session. This marks the end of a Zynga-run social games market, and perhaps the rise of more independent games studios, like King and Pretty Simple. Nonetheless, Zynga’s financial woes beg the question: what exactly is the ceiling for a games studio, and how much is too much?
Nonetheless, as a French startup with $3M in funding, Pretty Simple Games & Criminal Case are a great example that great companies in rapidly changing sectors can come from anywhere – although it doesn’t hurt to have Atari, Ubisoft, and Gameloft in your backyard.