Pandemic gamers have turned to silly low-stakes games to occupy their time and distract themselves from the world around them. The market for these games is incredibly large today, but in 2009 gamers had very little to choose from. Zynga has answered the call with FarmVille, a farming simulation game in which players can plow land, grow crops and raise cattle with the help of their Facebook friends.
After the popularity of the initial game started to wane, FarmVille 2: Country Escape was released in 2014. In November 2021, the developers of Zynga struck again with the game FarmVille 3. The new game has all the addictive qualities of the game. play other FarmVille games; however, there are so many responsibilities on the player that it is easy to get overwhelmed. Players who enjoyed the first game are wondering: did we really need a third game?
The history of FarmVille
The original FarmVille started with one idea: to involve the average internet user in many facets of farmland management without them ever having to get their hands dirty or even leave the comfort of their own home. At the start of 2010, at the height of the game, there were 34.5 million daily active users and 83.76 million monthly active users. Facebook was inundated with interactive ads, resource requests, and in-game achievement posts. Apparently overnight, the site went from being a place to post updates and check on friends and family to a place to indulge in the guilty pleasures of mindless gambling.
In an article for the New York Times, Mark Pincus – Zynga’s chief executive at the time – expressed his initial interest in bringing FarmVille to Facebook. “We saw it as this new dimension of your social network, not just a way to introduce people to games,” said Pincus. “I was like, ‘People are just hanging out on these social media like Facebook, and I want to give them something to do together.’”
Most people liked FarmVille for these same reasons. It has promoted asynchronous online interaction and cooperation. People were proud to have organized their quaint farms and were happy to know that their friends and family would see all of their achievements in the game.
Between mid to late 2010, however, Zynga’s game began to experience a rapid decline in popularity. Facebook friends have been too bothered by the persistent requests for donation of supplies. Parodies of FarmVille ads have started to pile up on YouTube. These parodies highlighted all of the less exciting aspects of gaming in an era of dramatic, action-packed video games like Call of Duty and Red Dead Redemption. How could a game about farming compete with the thrill of a first-person shooter? It seems people started to realize how boring farming really is.
FarmVille also bluntly made Time Magazine’s “50 Worst Inventions” list. The writers harshly criticized it as being less of a game than a series of chores completed with endless mouse clicks. Still, they couldn’t go without acknowledging how extremely addicting it was to tending to your digital farm.
Over a decade after the first game, FarmVille 3 was released out of the blue. Zynga is known as the “king of copying (or acquiring) blockbuster mobile and Facebook titles,” according to Forbes, but it seems they are no longer relying on content from their past. The new edition of the game offers players the same nostalgia for building a farm with the addition of several other improved features. The question is whether Zynga can compete with other mobile games on the market.
The biggest draw to Farmville 3 is the undeniably adorable animals. The game brings over 150 breeds of animals to the table, including chickens, pigs, cows, and sheep which give you supplies like eggs, milk, bacon, and wool. As you feed and care for your animals, they will breed and create new breeds. Small, wide-eyed babies are sure to pull on players’ tender cords. If that wasn’t enough, there are new exotic animals to unlock, such as polar bears, iguanas, wolves, and many more.
Another cool aspect is that you have full control over everything that happens on your farm. You can personalize your surroundings with hundreds of decorations in a variety of colors and styles. Fortunately, you don’t have to do the dirty work on your own. There are a total of 30 different farm workers to unlock, all with skills like cooking and crafting that become more effective as they level up. The team of farm workers are diverse in terms of racial and gender identity, creating a more realistic experience for players around the world. And just like the FarmVille games of the past, you can also enlist the help of your friends and family. Up to 25 people can join a “co-op” to trade goods and work together to win events.
Unlike other FarmVille games, the latest version is something you are encouraged to drop off. Millions of people found themselves addicted to FarmVille games because of the social obligation they felt to play. In FarmVille 3, you don’t feel like you have to play 24/7 because your crops and animals don’t die, no matter how long you’ve been playing the game for the last time.
While FarmVille 3 is still new and exciting, players have compiled a long list of complaints online. The main reason people delete FarmVille games from their phones is because they realized how financially demanding it has become. Conveniently, you don’t have to watch countless advertisements like many other mobile games, but it’s nearly impossible to create the perfect farm you desire without having to invest some of your own money in it. Rather than waiting up to 24 hours for a crafting station to finish building, players can speed up the process by purchasing in-game currency. Even if you decide to make these purchases, the items you receive are not worth the money you invest in them.
Players also hate FarmVille 3 because of its difficulty. Even experienced FarmVille players find it difficult to level up, breed animals, and earn enough coins to purchase whatever items they want. Players are given a harsh dose of reality as they realize they have to pay for everything. It costs money to plant crops that sometimes take hours to grow, and no one has the time or the patience for it.
For example, after waiting an hour for the corn plant to germinate, you are rewarded with a corn. This contrasts sharply with the two minute wait for two horns in FarmVille 2: Country Escape. Some plants like apple and strawberry trees wither after three harvests, and it costs hundreds to buy new ones. Good luck storing these cultures in your inventory as storage runs out easily and it takes weeks of play to find the parts to upgrade them.
The number of responsibilities placed on the player also makes the game overwhelming. In addition to looking after their farm, they must complete delivery and boat orders, respond to visitor and “co-op” inquiries, participate in the Sky Run and County Fair, and participate in seasonal events. . While these new events encourage players to work towards their goals, the developers at Zynga underestimated the time it takes to complete them. Maybe they assumed that people would love their game so much that they wouldn’t hesitate to spend hours playing it, but they didn’t realize that their players are human beings with real lives and jobs. A mobile app on agriculture is not on the top priority list.
What players would like instead
FarmVille communities demand easier gameplay and less addiction to in-app purchases. Zynga is to make it easier to buy resources by lowering the prices in the store or increasing the chances of players winning large sums of money. It’s important to understand that app developers are just trying to stay afloat, but it’s too complicated to keep up with the game unless you put your hard-earned, real money into it. As a solution, players wouldn’t mind seeing one or two ads.
Do we need a FarmVille 3? Probably not. Three warnings usually mean you are away. Perhaps it is time for Zynga to retire the FarmVille name. Additionally, other games have perfected the art of farming, such as The Sims 4 and Stardew Valley Cottage Living Expansion Pack. If Zynga is still going to keep FarmVille alive, they’re going to have to start listening to their target audience.