Booyah does not yet have the brand-name hype of Zynga or Foursquare in Silicon Valley, but if we talk about their two first apps, MyTown and Nightclub City, it’s clear Booyah is already becoming a serious force. Booyah was c
reated one year ago in Palo Alto with the goal of “creating new forms of entertainment for the masses by bringing together elements of the real world and the digital world.” The team has a strong background in the gaming industry: Keith Lee, CEO of Booyah, was formerly lead producer at Blizzard for Diablo III, one of the best known game franchises, and other members of the team worked on World of Warcraft.
Booyah has already succeeded on two platforms everybody has dreamt of: the iPhone and Facebook. That’s not just in terms of active user number (2.5 million for MyTown and 4.5 million for Nightclub City), but also in terms of engagement (time spent and user activity) and revenues generated through virtual goods and advertising.
MyTown is “monopoly for real life,” as Booyah has branded it: you can check-in on your iPhone at real places, manage them by getting revenues from people who walk into your virtual “locations,” and upgrade them. MyTown has only been released in the USA on iPhone and iTouch and has reached 2.5 million users in 6 months, which is great in comparison to the other location-based services startups.
Nightclub City was launched 2 months ago with little advertising (Booyah just published a blog post today to make it official) and has already reached 4.4 million active users. The game is simple: you’re the manager of a club and you can choose the music, change the decor, pay for celebrities coming into your club and go to your friend’s virtual club to mix and refuel their bar when they are not online.
Keith Lee’s passion is DJing, which has something to do with Nightclub City. Booyah would love to involve the entire electronic music scene in the game: it could be a new distribution channel for indie music. And it pays, as Nightclub City was awarded best social game on Facebook for 2010, according to Inside Social Games late June.
Booyah raised $20 million from Accel in May, so you can be sure they will grow quickly. As Google just invested in Zynga last Friday, maybe next time it will be Microsoft who'll invest in Booyah.