In what is being seen as an end of an era, the Zynga property FarmVille will be closing its doors on Facebook in the near future. The original version of this game will not be available on the social networking service at the end of the year, and this is no huge surprise considering both Facebook and Adobe have said they would be moving away from any Flash supported software by December 31st.
FarmVille’s long run on Facebook comes to an end
The news of the game’s withdrawal from the social networking giant came quickly and simply. Zynga made the official announcement by simply stating, “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.”Read More »
The fact that FarmVille has survived for so long is impressive in itself. The game originally launched in 2009 and had more than 10 million users on it per day in just two months. At its highest peak in 2010, a whopping 30 million people logged on to FarmVille every day and 83 million logged on per month. The next highest number of active players on a monthly basis was less than half that figure. To say the least, the agriculture-simulation game certainly helped launch Zynga and eventually led to both a mobile release of the game and a sequel.
For many, the success of FarmVille was often mocked. The fact that it was on Facebook to begin with along with the need for numerous micro-transactions were huge sources for derision among more serious gamers. It became a sort of symbolic sign on Facebook as well that the mainstream had joined and were now playing a very simple, yet highly addictive game. The game placed a heavy emphasis on recruiting friends to join in what many would consider spam laden tactics and this was likely felt by nearly anyone on the social networking platform in 2009 – 2013.
The original FarmVille’s legacy is a unique one
In spite of the great deal of criticism, the game was impactful on gaming history and became the first truly gigantic game on Facebook. It also represented a new movement that showcased an ability to release a popular game that could earn significant amounts of money without an actual console or traditional disc to play it on.
There were numerous expansions, real world and in-game partnerships, and sequels that failed to replicate the huge success of the original. The game even got the parody treatment in the 2010 South Park episode about Facebook called “You Have 0 Friends”. Words With Friends was another Zynga game that gained significant traction during this time too.
Furthermore, FarmVille should prove to be an important case study when it comes to gaming on social networks as well as a prime example of how to create an extremely popular product that is quite simple at its core. Finally, the way the game got users to keep paying with the micro-transactions will also likely be studied for years and years.
FarmVille began to lose some of its initial steam around 2013, though Zynga is still busy at work with a number of games that are available on mobile devices, browsers, and yes, Facebook. One of these titles is the mobile only worldwide release of FarmVille 3, which does come as some good news for FarmVille enthusiasts.
The end of Flash on Facebook coincides with the end of FarmVille on the social networking platform
FarmVille on Facebook will also be inextricably linked to Adobe Flash. This is not out of the ordinary whatsoever for a game built in the 2000s. Adobe’s Flash software was the most common choice when it came to any multimedia on the Internet.
However, as time passed the software became notorious for its security flaws and had severe problems with compatibility. Adobe saw the writing on the wall and announced in 2017 that it would be ceasing support for Flash at the end of 2020. The shift in recent years has thus moved to HTML5 and very far away from Flash.
In addition, Flash will not appear for much longer on most of the largest web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s Safari, and Microsoft Edge, among others. None of these browsers will continue to use Flash even next year.
This shift will certainly effect many other websites, software, games, videos, and media across the Internet besides the simulation game. For those who are nostalgic about this bygone era of the Internet, a project called Flashpoint was launched by a group known as BlueMaxima. The group are working on giving these Flash based games a place to stay after Flash is completely obsolete at the end of the year. The team of archivists now have more than 59,000 games backed up, though that list does not include the popular Zynga release and games that are based on a server or sold commercially.
Though the FarmVille fad is mostly over, there will likely be a few users who take one last go at it before it disappears from Facebook for old time’s sake. It is time to farm like it is 2009 one last time.