YoVille are a dedicated and vocal bunch, we’ve seen that firsthand at GamerTell. Their fighting has paid off, as Zynga will not close YoVille down on March 31 as it initially planned. It has been working with Big Viking Games, YoVille’s original creators, to figure out how to keep the game going.
“We will have more updates to share with you soon, as our conversations with Big Viking Games progress and we determine next steps for the game,” Zynga said in a statement. “But we wanted to make sure you heard the news first, as many of you have dedicated time over the last couple months to showing your support for YoVille and sharing your heartfelt stories about what the game means to you.”
They have indeed, and you can read some of those comments on my first story about the closing. There’s history here too. YoVille is one of Zynga’s longest running games, hitting a daily user peak of 19.9 million in 2009. When Zynga announced it was pulling the plug, it had around 354,000 daily users. In December 2013 Zynga told players YoVille was safe, only to announce its discontinuation in January. As you would expect, players who had continued making purchases felt cheated. It’s good to know Zynga CEO Don Mattrick hasn’t lost that public relations golden touch he had at Microsoft.
Big Viking’s Greg Thomson, the original creator of YoVille, has said he would be open to buying it back. Zynga’s statement makes it sound like that might be just what’s happening. At a mega corp like Zynga, YoVille is one game out of many. The creator of the game will likely be a better steward at this point, particularly since Zynga is obviously interested in unloading it.
This is a case of the players speaking out and being heard. They filed petitions, threatened to boycott Zynga and let the world know how much they love YoVille. That’s why gamers are my people. Take a bow, YoVillians.