Ladies and gentlemen, today is sad day to be a gamer. After 11 glorious years of championing the very best gaming has to offer, developer Zynga announced on Saturday that FarmVille, its Facebook first farm simulator enjoyed by octogenarians across the world has finally run its course.
Initially I assumed that Zynga had seen a dramatic drop in their player base. A player base who, sadly share a significant portion of a Venn diagram with those mortally impacted by the pandemic. Fortunately, this seems not to be the case. I empathise with the insurmountable pain many are experiencing from this colossal blow to the gaming industry. But I ask that you lay not your blame on the beloved publisher. Zynga, it seems, certainly doesn’t blame itself.
FarmVille inhabitants go about their business, blissfully unaware that the end is nigh
“Following an incredible 11 years since its initial launch back in 2009, we are officially announcing the closure of the original FarmVille game on Facebook. As previously stated, Adobe will stop distributing and updating Flash Player for all web browsers, and Facebook will stop supporting Flash games on the platform completely after December 31st, 2020. FarmVille will therefore be directly affected as a result of this.”Zynga Support Announcement
Perhaps, then there is a use for that abandoned pitchfork after all. Zynga it seems has invited us to storm Adobe HQ on mass. Picture a geriatric mob of outraged pensioners passionately laying their stricken distraught bare at the gates of the Flash magnate, collectively channelling their inner Bram Stoker as they bay for blood. This is surely the final blow of 2020.
The Meteoric Rise of Casual Gaming
But perhaps I am being a little harsh. The last ten years have seen a seismic shift in gaming demographics. The phenomenal rise in mobile gaming, and social media have taken the games industry, kicking and screaming out the basements, and into the main-stream. The gender distribution of gamers has realigned itself into something reflecting reality, and you can almost sense an easing that automatic anti-gaming hype held so dearly by a once vengeful press as playing games seeps ever deeper into the collective norm.
You could argue that Zynga, above all have led this charge. At it’s peak in March 2010, FarmVille had an average of 83.76 million active users monthly, with 34.5million logging into their virtual small holdings daily. The proliferation of “Farm Coins”, FarmVille’s virtual currency, purchased with real cash made Zynga countless millions, and no doubt financed other phenomenally successful mobile games such as Words with Friends and Zynga Poker. As of the end of 2020 Zynga’s net worth is estimated at a cool $7b.
Two of FarmVille’s “Cash” Cows ready for a good milking
With so many adoring fans worldwide, perhaps then, it is a sad day after all. Zynga announced continue their announcement, saying,
“In advance of sunsetting the game, we would like to point out that in-app purchases will be available up until November 17, at which point the game’s payment system will be completely turned off. Thereafter the game will not be accepting any in-app payments and any refunds will not be processed during this time. FarmVille will, however, continue to be playable until December 31st, 2020, at which point it will be shut down completely.”
the few reaming horses of FarmVille, preparing for the final voyage to the glue factory
It paints a rather sad vista, the few reaming Farmville inhabitants diligently tending to their flock. Still ingratiated enough that they are willing to depart with hard earned cash to keep the lights on in their virtual allotments despite the incoming and inevitable foreclosure. But as the sun sets on these hapless folk, the casual gaming scene is well and truly here to stay. And as Zynga teases in their farewell letter to the game that made them a household name, FarmVille 3’s release is just around the corner.
Until then, there’s always Candy Crush.
Source: Zynga Support
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