||The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. (May 2013)|
|Release date(s)||Facebook (Friday 19 June 2009)
HTML5 (Thursday 13 October 2011)
|Mode(s)||Single-player with multiplayer interaction|
FarmVille is a farming simulation social network game developed by Zynga in 2009. It is similar to Happy Farm, Farm Town, and video games such as the Harvest Moon series. Gameplay involving various aspects of farm management such as plowing land, planting, growing, and harvesting crops, harvesting trees, and bushes, and raising livestock.
A sequel, FarmVille 2, was released in September 2012.
It is available as an Adobe Flash application via the social-networking website Facebook and Microsoft's MSN Games, and was for a time available as an app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The game is a freemium game, meaning there is no cost to play but players have the option of purchasing premium content. It was once the most popular Facebook game, however recently has seen a decline in popularity. As of May 2012, FarmVille was the seventh most popular Facebook game by Daily Active Users.
Upon beginning a farm, the player first creates a customizable avatar which may be changed at any point.
The player begins with an empty farm and a fixed starting amount of "farm coins", the primary currency in the game. Players also earn XP (experience points) for performing certain actions in the game such as plowing land or buying items. At certain XP benchmarks, the player's level rises. As the player obtains more items and progresses through levels, crops and animals become available to them via the "market" where items can be purchased using either farm coins or "farm cash". Farm cash is earned by leveling up or completing offers, or purchased for real money.
The main way a player earns farm coins is through harvesting of crops or visiting their neighbors. The player does this by paying coins for plowing a unit of land and for planting crops, such as tomatoes on it, finally harvesting them after a certain amount of time has elapsed. The amount of time it takes for a crop to mature, and how much money a crop yields when harvested, is dependent on the crop planted and is noted on its entry in the "market" dialog. They will wither, or they will be of no use when a crop-specific amount of time has elapsed, the amount of time being equal to 2 times the amount of time taken to grow the crop (for example, crops which take 8 hours to grow will wither after 2.5×8=20 hours). However, a player can use farm cash to purchase an "unwither" to rejuvenate the crops or can use a biplane with "instant grow" to cause crops to be immediately available for harvest. Although the biplane can be purchased with coins, this special feature is only available for farm cash. As a player levels up more, crops with a higher payoff and economy will become available. Sometimes a crop will need a permit that costs FC in order to be planted.
A player may also buy or receive from friends livestock and trees or bushels, such as cherry trees or chickens, which do not wither but instead become ready for harvest for preset amounts of money a set amount of time from their last harvest. Trees and livestock cannot die.
Each player has a main "home" farm and a number of specially themed farms. Each themed farm has a different range of crops, trees, decorations, etc. available, and some have a permanent feature that can be periodically harvested for coins or resources.
The themed farms, in order of introduction, are:
- English Countryside
- Lighthouse Cove
- Winter Wonderland
- Hawaiian Paradise
- Jade Falls
- Haunted Hollow
- Mistletoe Lane
- Sunflower Meadows (mini farm)
- Lavender Meadows (mini farm) (coming soon)
- Anglers Pond (mini farm)
- Enchanted Glen
- Hanging Gardens
Like most Zynga games, FarmVille incorporates the social networking aspect of Facebook into many areas of gameplay. Recently FarmVille has allowed players to add neighbors that are not Facebook friends, thus allowing the player to have many neighbors at hand. Players invite friends or other players that are not Facebook friends to be their neighbors, allowing them to perform five actions on each other's farms per day by "visiting" it. Neighbors may also send gifts and supplies to each other, complete specialized tasks together for rewards, and join "co-ops" - joint efforts to grow a certain amount of certain crops. Gifts are sent as mystery gifts with expensive, but random items, special deliveries with building supplies, or by choosing a particular item to send. They cost the sending user nothing. For FarmVille's 2nd birthday, a series of different mystery gifts were added to the Gifts Page.
Decorations can be purchased in the market for coins or cash or can be sent in the form of free gifts. Decorations include many items like buildings, hay bales, fences, nutcrackers, gnomes, flags, topiaries, etc. There are sometimes limited edition items depending on the theme such as a Valentine's Day theme, Halloween theme, winter theme, etc. Decorations also give experience points (XP) depending on the cost. During the summer, Zynga releases an event called "The 7 Days Of Summer", where they re-release a different theme every 24 hours.
FarmVille has added several expansions over the game's lifetime, where players farm in new locales that include English Countryside, Lighthouse Cove, Winter Wonderland, Hawaiian Paradise, Jade Falls, Haunted Hollow, Mistletoe Lane, Enchanted Glen, Atlantis, and most recently, Hanging Gardens and Australia.
FarmVille was named one of the "The 50 Worst Inventions" in recent decades by Time magazine due to it being "the most addictive of Facebook games", yet also simply a "series of mindless chores on a digital farm".
In a December 2010 interview with Gamasutra, game designer Jonathan Blow criticized FarmVille for being designed to create an atmosphere of negativity, requiring an unprecedented commitment to the game, and encouraging users to exploit their friends.
FarmVille runs in-game partnerships where users can visit another company's farm and/or buy or receive items with their logo and colors. For example, as of June 9, 2011, users could get free McDonald's hot air balloons, McCafe products, and the ability to visit McDonalds' farm. Other brand partnerships have included  Discover Card, Cascadian Farm, Megamind, Farmers Insurance, Bing, and 7-Eleven. FarmVille also offers engagement advertising where users can interact with a brand in exchange for free farm cash through an ad platform called SVnetwork
FarmVille released an animated short titled A Very FarmVille Christmas in December 2011.
On June 26, 2012, FarmVille 2 was unveiled, and was subsequently released in September 2012. It differs from the original FarmVille in a number of ways:
- Graphics are more animated and in perspective projection, rather than the isometric projection of the original.
- The crop-growing cycle is plant–water–wait–harvest – there is no need to plow previously-used plots before using them again. In order to water, the player must have adequate water available. Water is automatically credited to the player at intervals up to a maximum capacity, and can also be harvested from wells or received from friends. Trees must also be watered before they will produce fruit.
- Harvested crops and other resources no longer immediately credit the player with coins; rather, they go to the player's inventory. These stored resources can then be sold for coins or used to craft goods. Most crops (but not crafted goods or animal resources) can also be used to make animal feed, which must be given to animals in order that they will produce resources.
In 2012, Zynga, in conjunction with Hasbro, released several kids' "Animal Games" based on Farmville under the "Hasbro Gaming" imprint. These include versions of Memory (in a "Disco Dancing Sheep" pouch), Go Fish (in a "Groovy Chicken" pouch), Old Maid (in a "Rockstar Cow" pouch), and Hungry Hungry Herd (a redux of Hungry Hungry Hippos with the characters Gobbling Horse, Munching Pig, Snacking Sheep and Chomping Cow replacing the Hippos in the original game).
- Babcock, Charles (May 16, 2011). "Lessons From FarmVille: How Zynga Uses The Cloud". InformationWeek (UMB): 29–34, 57. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
- "Zynga's FarmVille Becomes Largest and Fastest Growing Social Game Ever" (Press release). Market Watch. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 11 October 11, 2009.
- Kohler, Chris (24 December 2009). "14. Happy Farm (2008)". The 15 Most Influential Games of the Decade. Wired. p. 2. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- Gardner, Jasmine (29 September 2009). "Futurology: FarmVille on Facebook". London Today. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
- "Zynga Launches "FarmVille". Does it Look Familiar?". All Facebook. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
- Nutt, Christian (October 11, 2009). "GDC China: Chinese Indie Game Trends and Opportunities". Gamasutra. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- "Facebook farmers want India flag". BBC. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
- "Farmville Coming To The iPhone In June". TechCrunch. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Top 25 Facebook games of May 2012, Inside Social Games
- "How long does it take for a crop to wither?". Zynga. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
- Oxford, Nadia (5 November 2012). "Christmas comes to FarmVille with Mistletoe Lane". Gamezebo. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Atlantis Onboarding Guide". FarmVille Blog. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- Fletcher, Dan (May 27, 2010). "Worst Inventions: Farmville"". Time. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
- Parkin, Simon (6 December 2010). "Catching up with Jonathan Blow". Gamasutra. p. 3. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
- "Poking at Cow Clicker". Edge. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- McDonalds gets down on the farm with FarmVille for one day only
- Bing Advertises On Farmville, Acquires 400,000 Facebook Fans In One Day
- Olson, Elizabeth (15 July 2010). "ADVERTISING; For FarmVille Players, a Crop From a Real Organic Farm". The New York Times. p. 3. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
- "Discover Grows A Plot On Farmville With Zynga". Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "FarmVille Users Plant 310 Million Virtual Organic Blueberries". Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "FarmVille Megamind promotion is in full bloom for 24 hours only". Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "Farmers Insurance Partners with Zynga’s FarmVille, Protects Against Virtual Crop Withering". Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "Bing Advertises On Farmville, Acquires 400,000 Facebook Fans In One Day". Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "7-11 Starts Selling "FarmVille" Slurpees". Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- Zynga Grows One Thing Advertisers Want: Mass Reach. Advertising Age. 25 October 2010
- Webster, Andrew (9 December 2011). "Zynga releases first FarmVille animated short, A Very FarmVille Christmas". Gamezebo. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "Game Developers Choice Online Awards Archive 10th Annual GDCA". Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "Zynga unveils Farmville 2 game at Unleashed event". BBC News. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- Zynga games page of HasbroToyShop.com. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- FarmVille - The official website