FarmVille Put Out To Pasture On Facebook After 11 Year Run In Wake Of Adobe Flash
After more than a decade, the original FarmVille game that put developer Zynga on the map is shutting down for good. The reason? It is an Adobe Flash-based title, and with Adobe officially ending support for its Flash Player today, FarmVille becomes an optional casualty. I say "optional" because Zynga could have ported it to HTML5, but has decided not to do that.
Zynga co-founder and chairman Mark Pincus posted a memorial of sorts to FarmVille on Twitter, explaining how it was created and the role it played in the "evolution of gaming," from his perspective.
"The real innovation of FarmVille was in making games accessible to busy adults, giving them a place to invest and express themselves and be seen by people in their lives as creative. People though FarmVille as a sort of Etch-a-Sketch," Pincus explained. "It was the first game 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."
Zynga launched the original FarmVille game on Facebook in June 2009. By the end of its first week on the platform, it had amassed 1 million daily active users. According to Pincus, part of the appeal of FarmVille was that "busy adults, especially women, saw that games could have a valuable place in their lives and offer you more than empty calories." He likened it to a person's favorite TV series, in its appeal (incidentally, there was once talk of FarmVille becoming an animated TV series, though I'm not sure if it ever came to fruition).
For a time, it felt like Facebook and FarmVille were synonymous. Even if you were not playing it, many of your friends and family members probably were, growing their crops and perhaps spending money on the game. And of course there was the deluge of automated invites from those friends and family members who were hooked.
That was a long time ago, though. The original FarmVille was not nearly as popular yesterday when it was still up, as it was 11 years ago. However, it did spawn sequels, such as FarmVille 2, FarmVille 2: Country Escape, aand FarmVille 2: Tropic Escape, all of which are still playable.