Farmville is one of the most successful and probably most annoying Facebook games of all time. After more than eleven years, this is finally over. Manufacturer Zynga closes the gates of the virtual farm.
Dig up, sow rice or eggplant, wait a few hours and harvest – and then all over again. The gameplay of Farmville was simple and yet captivated tens of millions of players in front of their screens. About half a year after it started in summer 2009, around 80 million people were regularly running their virtual farm. Now, eleven years later, the farm game has to close forever.
In the beginning you started with a small garden and a handful of seeds for a few vegetables. But with each harvest, the hard-working gardener earned virtual coins that could be invested in other vegetables and animals – and their own property also grew larger and more stately.
Digital gardening was addicting
The crux of the game was that you actually had to wait a few hours for a planted seed to grow into something that could be harvested. And only with the money that the harvest brought in could new things be bought and grown. Quite a few players logged on to Facebook all the time just to see if their zucchinis were ripe. Because if you waited too long, the precious fruit would spoil. Most of the players quickly noticed: With their game, the manufacturer Zynga had created the perfect cocktail for the potential for addiction.
Zynga offered virtual coins for real money
Zynga knew how to use this skillfully: Because there was a way to shorten the waiting time considerably: to put real money into the game and thus speed up everything.
Another way to move faster was to make as many Facebook friends as possible into Farmville addicts and compete with them in the game. In addition, every success, no matter how small, could be shared with the entire Facebook friends list.
This also made Farmville one of the most hated Facebook games of all time – and quite a few Facebook friendships fell in two because the recipients of the endless success messages at some point didn’t know what else to do but break off contact with the digital farmers.
After eleven years the end will come
But now, eleven years later, the magic of country life seems to have finally vanished – and even more important: The game will soon lack the technical basis: At the end of June, Facebook announced that it would no longer support games based on Flash from 2021. This also applies to Farmville.
With a considerable delay, Zynga has now announced to its customers that the doors of the virtual farm will finally close on December 31 of this year. This could have been done at the end of June, but the provider probably didn’t want to prevent its users from investing more money in the game. In fact, this should be possible until November 17th. After that, the virtual currency can be spent until the last day. An exchange, however, is not possible.