11 years after its release, FarmVille has been shut down. Zynga, who developed and published the agriculture-simulation social network game, shut down FarmVille on January 1, 2021. FarmVille's popularity hit critical mass via social media platform Facebook, and in the past decade, the game has permeated popular culture in a multitude of ways that include a South Park episode and several spinoff games across the mobile gaming landscape.
In a Twitter thread on December 31, 2020, Zynga Chairman and Co-Founder Mark Pincus announced the shutdown of FarmVille and discussed his feelings about creating the game, its influence throughout the past 11 years, and the legacy it will leave. "The real innovation of FarmVille was in making games accessible to busy adults, giving them a place to invest and express themselves and be seen by people in their lives as creative," Pincus wrote in part of the thread.
FarmVille wasn't the first game to bring a farm-theme to the world of gaming. The Harvest Moon series began with its eponymous first game release in 1996, but the social aspect FarmVille brought to the aesthetic was one of the first examples of gaming becoming the online social experience it has become in the present day. Online farming game Stardew Valley is immensely popular and features multitudes of social interaction, and the Farm Simulator series has its own esports league.
Throughout its 11-year existence, FarmVille had many an expansion and sequel: FarmVille 2, FarmVille 2: Country Escape, FarmVille 3: Animals, FarmVille Harvest Swap and FarmVille Tropic Escape have also been developed by Zynga. In addition to the FarmVille series, Zynga has developed and published 32 other games for both mobile and Facebook.
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