What Ever Happened to Farmville Facebook Game? We Look Back
Four or five years ago, you couldn't get away from it on Facebook. Feed my livestock, water my crops, fertilize. We couldn't escape the allure of "Farmville." Now, it seem to have all but disappeared.
Farmville was initially one of the most successful inventions of the Zynga Company, who have populated Facebook with other lesser-known invitations to waste time. But Farmville was by far the most compelling and successful.
From it's start in 2009, explosion in 2011, and by 2012, some 311 million people were playing worldwide, by conservative estimates. But then the game's allure began to fade, and by 2013 Zynga was faced with losing money, and players. In September of that year, they laid off half with workforce. Some of this was due to them buying other games and concepts that didn't pay off...gambles.
According to panteres.com, Farmville 2 was supposed to resurrect some of that buzz, but most reviews reported that users got bored by the time they hit levels 25-30. Today, fewer than half of that 311 million are still playing, and the numbers continue to dwindle.
Despite a CNN report in 2014 that claimed millions still play, a quick survey we did indicated nobody we know still plays.
According to technobuffalo.com, an outfit that monitors the gaming, web and social media world, Zynga is bleeding money rapidly. The company is on pace, according to figures from 2015, to lose some $150 million in the last year.
Much of the erosion of Farmville, and other similar games, comes from the following, according to technobuffalo:
- Oversaturation of the gaming marketplace. Every time you turn around, there's a new game, and many get lost in the shuffle.
- Steady decline of gaming on Facebook.
- Most new games are targeted towards mobile phones or tablets. That's why you're seeing massive ads for games like Mobile Strike (who's ads feature The Terminator Arnold saying "look-my phone is blowing up!")
Zynga has already warned it's investors that if they are not able to shore up their declining number of paying players, and social media networks willing to carry their games (pay), the company could possibly go away. If financial reports continue to slide, the company could be history in a year or two.
It's been so long since we've played Farmville, we can't even remember how to log in to our account, or find it on Facebook anymore.