FarmVille was an agriculture-simulation social network game developed and published by Zynga in 2009. It is similar to Happy Farm, and Farm Town. Its gameplay involves various aspects of farmland management, such as plowing land, planting, growing, and harvesting crops, harvesting trees and raising livestock. 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. 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. 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.
On September 27, 2020, Zynga announced that it would discontinue FarmVille on Facebook on December 31, 2020, as Facebook was to stop supporting games running on Flash Player—required by Farmville—on that day. The company said that development would continue for mobile devices, with Farmville 3 to follow the existing Farmville 2.
Once players begin a farm, they first create a customizable avatar, which may be changed at any point.
The player begins with an empty farm and a fixed starting number of Farm Coins, the primary currency in the game. Players 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, the less important of the two in-game currencies, is through harvesting crops or visiting their neighbors. The player does this by paying coins for plowing a unit of land. This readies the land for planting seeds, which will eventually be harvested after a set amount of time. 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 2.5 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 (purchasable with real-world 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 Farm Cash in order to be planted.
A player may 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.
The two main in-game currencies, Farm Coins and Farm Cash (in FarmVille) or Farm Bucks (in FarmVille 2), are available for purchase from Zynga with real-world money. Coins can also be "earned" within the game by completing tasks or selling crops, and can be spent on basic in-game items such as seeds. Farm Cash and Farm Bucks are more difficult to acquire within the game, and cannot be earned within the farm's economic system, only by special actions like leveling up or completing tasks. Farm Cash and Farm Bucks provide 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 are otherwise slow and/or laborious for players to acquire.
Like most Zynga games, FarmVille incorporates the social networking aspect of Facebook into many areas of gameplay. Contacting other players allows 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 is 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 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.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2020)
FarmVille occasionally runs 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, Capital One, American Express, Lady Gaga, Rio (the motion picture), Haiti Relief Fund, Discover Card, Cascadian Farm, Megamind, Farmers Insurance, Microsoft 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.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2020)
FarmVille has added numerous expansions over the game's lifetime, where players farm in new locales that include England, Hawaii, Japan, Atlantis, Winter holiday locations, Australia and more. As of 2014, FarmVille releases a new farm approximately every six weeks.
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).
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".
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.
FarmVille 2: Country Escape for mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows operating systems) was released on April 10, 2014, and received a positive review from The New York Times. Unlike other games in the FarmVille series, FarmVille 2: Country Escape can be played offline.
- Zynga. "FarmVille 2: Country Escape - Android Apps on Google Play". google.com.
- Zynga Inc. (17 April 2014). "FarmVille 2: Country Escape". App Store.
- Victor, Daniel (2020-12-31). "FarmVille Once Took Over Facebook. Now Everything Is FarmVille". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
- 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. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
- "Zynga Launches "FarmVille". Does it Look Familiar?". All Facebook. 22 June 2009. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. 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.
- "Zynga's FarmVille Becomes Largest and Fastest Growing Social Game Ever" (Press release). Market Watch. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
- "Farmville Coming To The iPhone In June". TechCrunch. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- "Zynga's CityVille becomes the biggest-ever app on Facebook | GamesBeat". venturebeat.com. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
- "Facebook Apps Leaderboard - AppData". appdata.com. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- Jannielyn Ann Bigtas (27 September 2020). "FarmVille on Facebook officially announces closure after 11 years". GMA News Online.
- "How long does it take for a crop to wither?". Zynga. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "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". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "7-11 Starts Selling "FarmVille" Slurpees". Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- Michael Learmonth. (25 October 2010). "Zynga Grows One Thing Advertisers Want: Mass Reach". adage.com. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- "Atlantis Onboarding Guide". FarmVille Blog. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
- Oxford, Nadia (5 November 2012). "Christmas comes to FarmVille with Mistletoe Lane". Gamezebo. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Games, Toys, Action Figures, Collectibles, and Gifts - HasbroToyShop.com". hasbrotoyshop.com. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- 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. Archived from the original on 4 August 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- "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.
- Callaham, John (December 2, 2014). "Zynga's FarmVille 2: Country Escape has quietly made its Windows Phone debut". Windows Central.
- Ponder, George (February 18, 2015). "Farmville 2: Country Escape - life in the boondocks for Windows Phone and Windows 8". Windows Central.
- "Reviews: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, FarmVille 2: Country Escape and Monument Valley". The New York Times. April 22, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Babcock, Charles (May 16, 2011). "Lessons From FarmVille: How Zynga Uses The Cloud". InformationWeek. UMB: 29–34, 57. Retrieved 31 May 2011.