Booyah, the Kleiner Perkins iFund company, just announced that its hit location-based social game, MyTown, has passed 1 million registered users. MyTown is an extremely successful free iPhone game that enables users to buy and sell real world locations. Users then get points by “checking in” to locations through their iPhone. Competitors Foursquare and Gowalla (and recently Yelp) have similar features, but the real differentiator is MyTown’s integrated game mechanic.
Ultimately, MyTown is a full-featured massive multiplayer real-world game. You can own property and then earn money whenever another MyTown user, whom you do not have to know or have any relation with, “checks in” to that location. This means that instead of simply incentivizing engagement via “checking in” and social features, MyTown actually enables users to gain virtual currency and “level up” through the game.
We spoke with Keith Lee of Booyah a few days ago and he gave us some additional statistics. Not only is Booyah’s MyTown more successful than any of the other games in this category, it has also covered the map of the United States with check-ins. According to Keith, there has been a check-in at every single location that exists on Google Maps. I find that hard to believe, but it seems like they come close – a quick check while walking down the streets of Fremont or Berkeley (the two places I frequent most) shows that every single place has been checked into.
A couple more stats that Booyah shared with us:
Clearly, this competition in this space is heating up and Booyah’s MyTown is the front-runner for now. It’ll be interesting to see how Yelp, with far more registered users (but a really new check-in infrastructure) competes over time.
Another aspect of MyTown that has gone largely unnoticed: it’s in Apple’s Top 50 grossing list. This means that users are not only engaging with MyTown but Booyah’s actually making revenue off of selling in-game virtual currency and other goodies.