Citing studies that correlate first-time homeownership with social gaming, Century 21 Real Estate is setting up shop in the Facebook game SimCity Social.

EA Games’ SimCity Social launched on June 4 and has more than 1.4 million "likes" on Facebook. Century 21-branded office buildings will begin showing up in the game today.

Through Nov. 5, users building and managing computer-generated metropolises will have the ability to build a Century 21 office building and earn "Simoleons" — SimCity Social currency — and perform "friend or foe" actions on their neighbors’ Century 21 buildings.

Users can consult with a Century 21 agent or take open house cookies to earn additional merits in the game, and watch an in-game branded advertisement to earn a free energy boost,

Century 21 cited a Simmons New Media study that found social gamers are 27 percent more likely to have bought their first home in the last year or are planning to buy their first home in the next year, and are primed to absorb messages while gaming.

SimCity Social includes the classic elements of the SimCity game, which became popular in the early 1990s and involves managing some of the challenges that real city planners must address like energy supply, cleanliness, balance of city services, blight, etc., with the addition of social interaction with users’ Facebook friends and their SimCity Social cities.

Earlier this year, Century 21 won a social marketing campaign award from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for a campaign with a similar social simulated city-building game, We City, for 14 days last year.

That campaign generated 5.4 million Century 21-branded welcome screen views, 401,000 Century 21 virtual buildings placed and 300,000 views of Century 21 video ad spots.

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