Surprise — The Most Popular Facebook Game of 2011 Wasn’t Made by Zynga

Facebook has released its list of the 10 most popular social games for 2011, and while the chart was dominated by Zynga titles, other companies received the top two slots.

The list revealed some other surprises, too.

For instance, at the top of the list was Gardens of Time by Disney’s Playdom division, which developed a social spin to the “hidden objects” game genre. The second-most popular game was Electronic Arts’ The Sims Social, which had done fairly well but never was able to leapfrog other Zynga titles, such as CityVille.

In general, the list looks different than the daily and monthly active user charts released by AppData, which nearly always show Zynga dominating the top four or five slots. Facebook explained that it based the chart on games that not only attracted the most active users but also received the highest user recommendations.

So perhaps it was the popular vote that elevated others to the top of the list.

Zynga garnered four spots on the list, but other independent companies made the rankings, including DoubleDown Entertainment, Buffalo Studios and Wooga. The chart also revealed players’ love of casino games, which we previously reported were ringing up big revenues on Facebook.

Here’s the full list:

  1. Gardens of Time (Playdom-Disney)
  2. The Sims Social (Electronic Arts)
  3. CityVille (Zynga)
  4. DoubleDown Casino (DoubleDown Entertainment)
  5. Adventure World (Zynga)
  6. Words With Friends (Zynga)
  7. Bingo Blitz (Buffalo Studios)
  8. Empires & Allies (Zynga)
  9. Slotomania-Slot Machines (Playtika-Caesars Entertainment Corp.)
  10. Diamond Dash (Wooga)

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work