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Zynga Is Closing Down YoVille

Sections: Casual, Game-Companies, Gaming News, Genres, Publishers

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yovilleIf you are one of the estimated 354,000 users with a home in YoVille, it’s time to start looking for new virtual real estate. The game is one of Zynga’s longest running, going since 2008. It had more than 19.9 million daily users at its 2009 peak, but has been losing them ever since.

YoVille will officially shut down March 31. Players will get a going away gift to use in either FarmVille 2, Texas HoldEm Poker or HititRich Casino Slots.

Its small but dedicated user base isn’t ready to quit though. They have started an online petition to keep the game going. The game’s original creator, Greg Thomson, said he’s willing to look into buying it back from Zynga. Has the social gaming powerhouse created a new business model? Buy a profitable game, run it for a while and then sell it back to the initial owner?

Zynga has been the poster child for the rise of casual gaming, as well as how quickly its tides can turn. Buoyed by hits including YoVille, FarmVille and Mafia Wars, its valuation ran into the billions.

But Zynga has struggled to find followups to many of those hits. It has been aggressively seeking new kinds of revenue, including real money gaming. Those projects are already live in the UK. Efforts to do that in the US stalled, causing the publisher to abandon them.

It is has also entered into a partnership with BitPay, a startup dealing in Bitcoin currency. Right now Zynga is accepting Bitcoin as payment in games including FarmVille 2, CastleVille and CityVille. It’s the first major gaming publisher to do so.

Perhaps the biggest newsmaking move was hiring ex-Microsoft Entertainment division head Don Mattrick as CEO. He didn’t endear himself to Microsoft console owners during early problematic early PR for the Xbox One. Mattrick is performing a top-to-bottom review of Zynga, including cutting games that aren’t doing so well. YoVille, in its current state, falls into that category.

Site [YoVille]

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  • http://facebook Beverly Sullivan

    There are two sides to the story. One Yoville was doing great until we couldn’t connect with new found friends around the world, servers were being removed. Then the money cost of things continued to rise and unless you spent a lot of money you couldn’t buy the things you needed to complete your rooms or your wardrobes, you had to have cash for it. Then things started turning over rapidly, if you didn’t buy it right away you would loose out, especially in the homes. Zynga seemed to be shutting down the fun things and keeping the boring or stupid things. They didn’t clean up things no longer available, they made up things that no one would want to buy, and then when the took the events away, Yoville people left little by little. Couldn’t make connection with your “buddies” and hang out, couldn’t finish building your homes and things became so expensive. Now here’s the heartbreaking part, many people have crappy lives but in Yoville, you could be as pretty as you wanted, have tons of possessions, clothes, wigs but also pets that were alive too, so you could be someone you wanted to be, you could escape the real ugly world for awhile. Many people used this for socialization in a personal way of visiting homes, playing games, working to earn coins as well as visits to other buddies and best of all if you were creative, you could make the most beautiful places anyone could imagine. The bottom line, Yoville became therapy for so many people, especially in 2009. Yoville became a lifesaver mentally. Not just money is at stake here, it’s thinking you own something or your creativity that makes you proud of yourself and then when your buddies visit and tell you how great everything looks, the self-esteem is at stake here. See it is not just about money, it is about investments of time and love.

  • http://facebook Daniel

    It would be wise to undo some of the many updates that zynga has put into the game. has anyone realized the possibility of the game changing too much and causing problems? remember the simple days when you didn’t need a state of the art laptop just to play? I haven’t been able to play for a year now because of the new requirements. I want my nightclub and pet lion back!

    Undo some of the updates and simplify the game, make it playable for even simpler pcs again.

  • VIRGINIA ELIZABETH GARCIA VAZQUEZ

    YO AMO YOVILLE Y ME GUSTARIA QUE NO SE CERRARA … AHI SUPERE LA MAS DIFICIL DE LAS ETAPAS DE MI VIDA CUANDO QUEDE VIUDA Y MIS HIJOS SE FUERON TODOS DE LA CASA A TRABAJAR Y VIVIR FUERA DE LA CIUDAD… ME REFUGIE EN ESTE MARAVILLOSO JUEGO Y ENCONTRE PERSONAS QUE ESTABAN EN IGUAL SITUACION A LA MIA O EN PEORES CONDICIONES EMOCIONALES Y JUNTAS NOS APOYAMOS Y AYUDAMOS EN LAS DECORACIONES DE NUESTRAS CASITAS Y AVATARES Y CON ESO SALIMOS ADELANTE DE NUESTRA DEPRESION EMOCIONAL … POR ESTA Y MUCHAS RAZONES MAS YO RUEGO PARA QUE SIGA ESTE MARAVILLOSO JUEGO . POR SU ATENCION MIL GRACIAS !!

  • Jessie Yo

    Zynga lost players because they failed to maintain the game. When they laid off employees who were the creative minds in Yoville, they signed the death warrant for Yoville. Blame mismanagement, NOT players who left.

  • Kellene Romano

    This really makes me mad, sick of spending real money to just have them close down games and me losing my money invested in these games. They did drop the ball, corporate greed is disgusting , about fed up with everything zynga, why should we be loyal to you when you def. aren’t to us game players! Loved Yoville, but as usual they are taking away something I enjoyed playing!

  • Sylvia Harlow

    There is no other game like YoVille. They are like pale copies. We remain hopeful that Zynga will do the smart thing and sell us to Big Viking. Surely they would want to get every last penny.