If you were using Facebook back in 2009, before Instagram was a thing and when WhatsApp was still a minor contender, chances are you were plagued by the sort of notifications that were considered ‘normal’ back then. Notifications to help water crops and to start your very own virtual farm. Yeah, we used to use the internet for serious business a little over a decade ago, if you consider Farmville in any way serious. Beyond ‘seriously irritating’, that is.
But that irritation is finally coming to an end. Farmville, the game that filled your feed (such as it was) with annoying little cartoon farmers, crops and cows and spawned a whole horde of clones* has, after eleven years, finally bought the er… farm. Or it will, and rather soon.
The sun goes down on the long-lived game for good on 31 December 2020, according to parent company Zynga. Amazingly, the game’s closure has less to do with players no longer playing and everything to do with the fact that Abobe (and Facebook) will no longer be supporting Flash after that date. But, in the meantime, Zynga still wants your money. For a little while.
“In advance of sunsetting the game, we would like to point out that in-app purchases will be available up until November 17, at which point the game’s payment system will be completely turned off. Thereafter the game will not be accepting any in-app payments and any refunds will not be processed during this time”
It may seem like we’re a little nostalgic about Farmville and that… may actually be accurate, but not for the reasons you’d expect. The farming simulator hooked in players who didn’t know better with simple but addictive (and sometimes exploitative) mechanics, annoyed people who knew better incessantly and prompted investors who had no idea what was going on to splurge on Gaming’s Next Big Thing™** but it was still better than the horror-show that is 2020.
There’s still Farmville 2 to play, on Android or iOS, and, amazingly, there’s also talk of a Farmville 3 on the way as well. Or you could just go play Farming Simulator, like a ‘normal’ person.
*Farmville was itself a clone of previous management sims, including one called Happy Town.
**It was not Gaming’s Next Big Thing™