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FarmVille

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FarmVille
FarmVille logo.png
Developer(s)Zynga
Publisher(s)Zynga
EngineFlare3D
Platform(s)Android[1]
iOS[2]
Adobe Flash
HTML5
ReleaseFacebook
  • WW: 19 June 2009
HTML5
  • WW: 13 October 2011
Genre(s)Simulation, role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

FarmVille is a series of agriculture-simulation social network game developed and published by Zynga in 2009.[3] It is similar to Happy Farm,[4] and Farm Town.[5][6][7] Its gameplay involves various aspects of farmland management, such as plowing land, planting, growing, and harvesting crops, harvesting trees and raising livestock.[8][9] FarmVille 2, the sequel, was released in September 2012.

The game was available as an Adobe Flash application via the social networking website Facebook and Microsoft's MSN Games.[10] It was previously available as a mobile app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad for a brief period in 2010. The game was free-to-play; however, to progress quickly within the game, players are encouraged to spend Farm Cash (in FarmVille) or Farm Bucks (in FarmVille 2), which are purchasable with real-world currency.

After launching on Facebook in 2009, FarmVille became the most popular game on the site, and held that position for over two years. At its peak, in March 2010, the game had 83.76 million monthly active users. Daily active users peaked at 34.5 million.[11] After 2011, the game began experiencing a considerable decline in popularity. By May 2012, the game was ranked as the seventh most popular Facebook game. As of April 30, 2016, its rank had fallen to the 110th most popular Facebook game as measured by daily active users, while FarmVille 2 had climbed to 42.[12]

On September 27, 2020, Zynga announced that it would discontinue the first FarmVille on Facebook on December 31, 2020, as Facebook was to stop supporting games running on Flash Player—required by FarmVille—on that day.[13] The company said that development would continue for mobile devices, with FarmVille 3 to follow the existing FarmVille 2.

Gameplay[edit]

Once players began a farm, they would first create a customizable avatar, which could be changed at any point.

One player's customized farm

The player began with an empty farm and a fixed starting number of Farm Coins, the primary currency in the game. Players earned 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 would rise. As the player obtained more items and progressed through levels, crops and animals would become available to them via the "market" where items could be purchased using either Farm Coins or Farm Cash. Farm Cash was earned by leveling up or completing offers, or purchased for real money.

The main way a player earned Farm Coins, the less important of the two in-game currencies, was through harvesting crops or visiting their neighbors. The player would do this by paying coins for plowing a unit of land. This readied the land for planting seeds, which would eventually be harvested after a set amount of time. The amount of time it took for a crop to mature, and how much money a crop would yield when harvested, was dependent on the crop planted and was noted on its entry in the "market" dialog.[14] They would wither, or they would be of no use when a crop-specific amount of time had elapsed, the amount of time being equal to 2.5 times the amount of time taken to grow the crop (for example, crops which took 8 hours to grow would wither after 2.5×8=20 hours). However, a player could use Farm Cash (purchasable with real-world cash) to purchase an "unwither" to rejuvenate the crops or can could a biplane with "instant grow" to cause crops to be immediately available for harvest. Although the biplane could be purchased with coins, this special feature was only available for Farm Cash. As a player leveled up more, crops with a higher payoff and economy would become available. Sometimes a crop would need a permit that costs Farm Cash in order to be planted.

A player could buy or receive from friends livestock and trees or bushels, such as cherry trees or chickens, which did not wither but instead became ready for harvest for preset amounts of money a set amount of time from their last harvest. Trees and livestock could not die.

In-game purchases[edit]

The two main in-game currencies, Farm Coins and Farm Cash (in FarmVille) or Farm Bucks (in FarmVille 2), were available for purchase from Zynga with real-world money. Coins could also be "earned" within the game by completing tasks or selling crops, and could be spent on basic in-game items such as seeds. Farm Cash and Farm Bucks were more difficult to acquire within the game, and could not be earned within the farm's economic system, only by special actions like leveling up or completing tasks. Farm Cash and Farm Bucks provided a route to acquire further in-game items, such as additional animals for the farm, or to acquire in-game resources like animal feed, water, fuel and power, which were otherwise slow and/or laborious for players to acquire.

Social interaction[edit]

Like most Zynga games, FarmVille incorporated the social networking aspect of Facebook into many areas of gameplay. Contacting other players allowed the player to improve their farm more quickly, by using their help as farmhands or by gaining rewards from helping them. Often the aid of other players was a substitute for Farm Cash, the game's purchasable in-game currency, giving players an effective choice between spamming their friends with FarmVille messages and requests, or paying real-world cash. FarmVille had allowed players to add neighbors that are not Facebook friends, thus allowing the player to have many neighbors at hand. Players invited friends or other players that were not Facebook friends to be their neighbors, allowing them to perform five actions on each other's farms per day by "visiting" it. Neighbors could 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 were 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.

Development[edit]

Partnerships[edit]

FarmVille occasionally ran in-game partnerships where users can visit another company's virtual farm and buy or receive items with their brand logo. For example, as of June 9, 2011, users could get free McDonald's hot air balloons, McCafe products and the ability to visit McDonald's' virtual farm. Other brand partnerships include Minion, Frito Lay, Dish Network Hopper, Capital One, American Express, Lady Gaga, Rio (the motion picture), Haiti Relief Fund, Discover Card, Cascadian Farms,[15] Megamind,[16] Farmers Insurance,[17] Microsoft Bing,[18] and 7-Eleven.[19] FarmVille also offered engagement advertising where users could interact with a brand in exchange for free Farm Cash through an ad platform called SVnetwork.[20]

Release[edit]

Expansions[edit]

FarmVille has added numerous expansions over the game's lifetime, where players farm in new locales that include England, Hawaii, Japan, Atlantis,[21] Winter holiday locations,[22] Australia and more. As of 2014, FarmVille releases a new farm approximately every six weeks.

Board games[edit]

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).

This is one of several games in the Zynga game library to be released as physical board game versions. Others include Draw Something, Words with Friends and a CityVille edition of Monopoly.[23]

Reception[edit]

Despite the initial success of the game, it has received a negative reaction from critics, video game designers, and personalities. Time magazine called the game one of the "50 Worst Inventions" in recent decades due to it being "the most addictive of Facebook games" and a "series of mindless chores on a digital farm".[24]

In a December 2010 interview with Gamasutra, game designer and programmer 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.[25]

The video game researcher Ian Bogost designed Cow Clicker as a satire of FarmVille and similar Zynga games to deconstruct the repetitiveness and perceived absurdity of such games.[26]

Awards[edit]

FarmVille won an award at the Game Developers Conference for the "Best New Social/Online Game" in 2010.[27] The crowd booed a Zynga executive as he accepted the award.[3]

Sequels[edit]

On June 26, 2012, FarmVille 2 was unveiled,[28] and was subsequently released in September 2012. It differs from the original FarmVille in a number of ways.[how?]

FarmVille 2: Country Escape for mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows Phone[29] and Windows[30] operating systems) was released on April 10, 2014, and received a positive review from The New York Times.[31] Unlike other games in the FarmVille series, FarmVille 2: Country Escape can be played offline.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zynga. "FarmVille 2: Country Escape - Android Apps on Google Play". google.com. Archived from the original on 2015-04-05. Retrieved 2015-05-13.
  2. ^ Zynga Inc. (17 April 2014). "FarmVille 2: Country Escape". App Store. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b Victor, Daniel (2020-12-31). "FarmVille Once Took Over Facebook. Now Everything Is FarmVille". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2021-01-01. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  4. ^ Kohler, Chris (24 December 2009). "14. Happy Farm (2008)". The 15 Most Influential Games of the Decade. Wired. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  5. ^ Gardner, Jasmine (29 September 2009). "Futurology: FarmVille on Facebook". London Today. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  6. ^ "Zynga Launches "FarmVille". Does it Look Familiar?". All Facebook. 22 June 2009. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
  7. ^ Nutt, Christian (October 11, 2009). "GDC China: Chinese Indie Game Trends and Opportunities". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  8. ^ "Facebook farmers want India flag". BBC. 9 October 2009. Archived from the original on 11 October 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  9. ^ "Zynga's FarmVille Becomes Largest and Fastest Growing Social Game Ever" (Press release). Market Watch. 27 August 2009. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  10. ^ "Farmville Coming To The iPhone In June". TechCrunch. 7 June 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Zynga's CityVille becomes the biggest-ever app on Facebook | GamesBeat". venturebeat.com. Archived from the original on 2018-07-05. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  12. ^ "Facebook Apps Leaderboard - AppData". appdata.com. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  13. ^ Bigtas, Jannielyn Ann (27 September 2020). "FarmVille on Facebook officially announces closure after 11 years". GMA Network. Archived from the original on 13 January 2021. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  14. ^ "How long does it take for a crop to wither?". Zynga. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "FarmVille Users Plant 310 Million Virtual Organic Blueberries". Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  16. ^ "FarmVille Megamind promotion is in full bloom for 24 hours only". Archived from the original on 29 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  17. ^ "Farmers Insurance Partners with Zynga's FarmVille, Protects Against Virtual Crop Withering". Archived from the original on 16 September 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  18. ^ "Bing Advertises On Farmville, Acquires 400,000 Facebook Fans In One Day". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  19. ^ "7-11 Starts Selling "FarmVille" Slurpees". Archived from the original on 10 November 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  20. ^ Michael Learmonth. (25 October 2010). "Zynga Grows One Thing Advertisers Want: Mass Reach". adage.com. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Atlantis Onboarding Guide". FarmVille Blog. 4 March 2013. Archived from the original on 5 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  22. ^ Oxford, Nadia (5 November 2012). "Christmas comes to FarmVille with Mistletoe Lane". Gamezebo. Archived from the original on 9 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  23. ^ "Games, Toys, Action Figures, Collectibles, and Gifts - HasbroToyShop.com". hasbrotoyshop.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  24. ^ Fletcher, Dan (May 27, 2010). "Worst Inventions: Farmville". Time. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  25. ^ Parkin, Simon (6 December 2010). "Catching up with Jonathan Blow". Gamasutra. p. 3. Archived from the original on 10 December 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  26. ^ "Poking at Cow Clicker". Edge. Archived from the original on 4 August 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  27. ^ "Game Developers Choice Online Awards Archive 10th Annual GDCA". Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  28. ^ "Zynga unveils Farmville 2 game at Unleashed event". BBC News. 26 June 2012. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  29. ^ Callaham, John (December 2, 2014). "Zynga's FarmVille 2: Country Escape has quietly made its Windows Phone debut". Windows Central. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  30. ^ Ponder, George (February 18, 2015). "Farmville 2: Country Escape - life in the boondocks for Windows Phone and Windows 8". Windows Central. Archived from the original on February 20, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  31. ^ "Reviews: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, FarmVille 2: Country Escape and Monument Valley". The New York Times. April 22, 2014. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]