If you had a Facebook account from 2009 to 2012 your feed was probably full of people’s updates about what was going on in their FarmVille farm, asking friends to visit so they could get points or that one family member that kept sending you invites. It was as much a staple of the rise of social media as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which is why news the game is shutting down marks the end of a very interesting era of the Internet.
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever and neither does the original FarmVille. In an announcement that is probably expected for some and surprising for others, FarmVille is shutting down. Cause of death? The end of Adobe Flash. Zynga explained more in a statement on Monday.
Following an incredible 11 years since its initial launch back in 2009, we are officially announcing the closure of the original FarmVille game on Facebook. As previously stated, Adobe will stop distributing and updating Flash Player for all web browsers, and Facebook will stop supporting Flash games on the platform completely after December 31st, 2020. FarmVille will therefore be directly affected as a result of this.
We’re aware that many of you have been with us since the very beginning, helping to build an incredible global community of players over the years who’ve enjoyed this game just as much as we have. For that we say thank you.
For as many faults and arguably toxic features that FarmVille helped create in the gaming industry, it is still a major part of gaming historically and culturally. It might have been a flash game on Facebook but, in many ways, it’s the first mobile game because that model would be copied in phone gaming for the next decade. It would get so popular that South Park made an entire episode about it.
You can make a pretty easy argument that FarmVille is why games have microtransactions today. FarmVille got popular before mobile games were a thing. It came out when the iPhone 3GS was releasing and one year before the iPhone 4. App gaming was sill in its infancy at the time and the largest player base you could possibly find was on Facebook. It was a perfect place perfect time kind of thing and FarmVille reaped the rewards of that.
If you are a fan of FarmVille and this news is disappointing then there is some good news. This might be the end of the original flash FarmVille but there is still farming to be had. FarmVille 2 is available on mobile app stores and Zynga says FarmVille 3 is on the way. While one chapter of gaming history closes another one opens.