Variety

The original FarmVille to shut down after 11 years

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 01, 2021

Zynga co-founder details journey of the viral game

The original FarmVille, one of the most popular Facebook games, is officially shutting down.

Zynga chairman and co-founder Mark Pincus took to Twitter to detail the 11-year journey of the game that once took Facebook by a storm.

“Tomorrow, Zynga shuts down FarmVille on Facebook after 11 years. I wanted to share the story of how we created it and why it has played such an important role in the evolution of gaming,” Pincus said in his tweet.

Pincus wrote that “real innovation” was to make games “accessible to busy adults.”

“People thought of FarmVille as a sort of Etch-a-Sketch,” he wrote.

“It was the first game at scale that leveraged big data, and almost everything inside the game was tested and optimized. FarmVille became a training ground for a generation of entrepreneurs and product managers,” h added.

Pincus detailed the journey of the game as farm games gained massive popularity in 2008 and 2009. Zynga then acquired MyMiniLife. The company directed four engineers to build a farm game who then came up with FarmVille.

“The team sat in an alcove by my office. I met w/ them daily and focused on building the next evolution of social farm simulation. We kept it simple: better crop art, math, and remove the stranger-danger marketplace. We also found subtle ways to make it easier to play,” wrote Pincus.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had then asked Pincus to send across all the content for the game.

“Facebook had just opened the feed to app developers, and Zuck asked me to send him all the content we had, saying FB would filter out what it didn’t want to show. FarmVille became the first major game to leverage the news feed as an extension of the core game,” as per Pincus.

The game was launched on June 19, 2009. It then became an “immediate viral hit” and reached 1million Daily Active Users (DAUs) by the end of its first week, Pincus wrote.

The decision to close down the game follows Adobe’s announcement that it will no longer be distributing and updating its Flash Player for web browsers.

“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 31. FarmVille will, therefore, be directly affected as a result of this,” Zynga had said in its announcement.

Those who still wish to play the game can do so with Farmville 2: Tropic Escape and the upcoming worldwide launch of FarmVille 3 on mobile.

Published on January 01, 2021

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