Wed, Feb 23, 2011 | 21:55 GMT
Ravenwood Fair hits 10 million users, plans expansion; LOLapps sheds staff [Update]
Facebook sensation Ravenwood Fair has hit the ten million monthly users milestone, and will celebrate with a major expansion.
VentureBeat reports that the expansion, called Ravenwood Mine, will contain a similar amount of content as the original game.
The game and its expansion will run as separate Facebook applications but be inter-accessible and connect with each other. Ravenwood Mine plays in a similar fashion to its base title, but replaces the spooky forest with a spookier mine.
The limited action, spam-for-more title has been so successful that LOLapps has scaled back other operations to focus on developing it.
“We are using a traditional strategy in games,” LOLapps CEO Arjun Sethi said.
“Instead of focusing on how much money we can make from a user, we are focusing on how long we can hang on to that user. Here’s a new world that interacts with the one the user has been spending a lot of time in.”
As the game’s user base is continuing to grow, it seems this approach is working quite well. 5.6 million of the game’s players have joined since December 2010.
Ravenwood Fair, designed by legendary Doom creator John Romero, was one of a number of LOLapps Facebook games temporarily removed from the site after being found to be involved in some shady data-dealing.
[Update] The casual company has lost two key figures in recent times. Although both continue to assist with the creation of LOLapps games, Romero and Brenda Braithwaite have moved on to Loot Drop.
Loot Drop was founded by Romero as a social games studio with funding from rival app network RockYou.
The veteran Braithwaite told Gamasutra that it’s a mistake to dismiss social game development.
“It is dangerous to determine the type of games that people are making by the platform they choose to work on,” she said.
“Instead of thinking of Facebook as this amorphous ‘social game thing’, I think of Facebook as a platform, on which I can have a huge variety of games and a huge variety of experience.”