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Zynga changes its mind, will not shut down YoVille March 31

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yovilleYoVille 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.

Site [YoVille]

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  • Daniela Koucka

    Hello all,

    thank you VERY much for saving yoville. I have been playing since August 2008 and thanks this game I met a lot of nice people, found friends from around the world, some of them I already met in personally. This game gave me much more – fun, friends, and what is very important to me, I had the iopportunity to learn English. At the very start I only knew a few sentences. Now I dont have prblem to communikate. I have a lot of people from yoville on Skype.
    And finally, I could show my friends our small country in the middle of Europe.
    I could write much more, but I dont want – you get a lot of emails.
    So only once more : THAANK YOU VERY MUCH – Daniela

  • ELIZABETH JONES

    IT HAS BEEN ONE HECK OF A RIDE, SINCE HEARING ABOUT OUR LOVING YOVILLE’S CLOSING. I HAVE BEEN A FAITHFUL PLAYER SINCE 2008 AND HAVE BEEN A LOYAL PLAYER AND FAN OF THE GAME. IT WAS LIKE MY HEART FELL INTO MY STOMACH WHEN I CAME ACROSS THE CLOSURE NOTICE. YOVILLE HAS BEEN A GAME FOR US THAT ARE DISABLED, SHY, AND OUT OF PLACE TO DO THE THINGS WE WOULD NOT ORDINARILY DO IN THE REAL WORLD. IT HAS ALSO BEEN A PLACE WHERE WE CAN MAKE REAL, TRUE, HONEST, LOVING, AND LASTING FRIENDSHIPS; FOR ZYNGA TO TELL US WE WOULD BE LOSING, THAT WAS DEVASTATING, SO WE TOOK TO THE NET AND MADE DIFFERENT SAVE YOVILLE GROUPS TO MAKE OUR VOICES KNOWN ABOUT HOW WE FELT ABOUT THE CLOSURE. WE ARE SO HAPPY TO KNOW THAT YOVILLE WILL NOT CLOSE, BUT WE ARE NOT IN THE CLEAR YET; WE HAVE TO STILL WAIT AND SEE WHO WILL ACQUIRE AND KEEP THE GAME. WE ALSO WANT TO SEE WHERE YOVILLE WILL GO. WE ARE EXPECTING TO HAVE SOME THINGS RESTORED AND TO SEE NEW THEMES; AND MAYBE EVEN SEE YOVILLE BE ABLE TO TAKE US PLAYERS IN BEING ABLE TO LIVE AS ROOMMATES, GET MARRIED AND LIVE WITH OUR YO HUSBANDS/WIVES WITHOUT DOING AS HUSBANDS AND WIVES DO…NO NEED TO SAY WHAT, BUT WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK TO THE GAME, THAT GAVE ALOT OF US AN OUTLET TO BE WHO WE WANTED AND TO DO WHAT WE WANTED. MAYBE THEY WILL GIVE US PLAYERS A CHANCE TO HAVE MORE INTERACTIONS WITH THEM IN THE DESIGNS OF WHAT WE WANT TO SEE AND HAVE IN YOVILLE. FOR ME I WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOVILLE EXPANDED IN FULLSCREEN WHERE WE CAN SEE OUR ENTIRE HOUSES INSIDE AND OUT, PLANT FLOWERS, CROPS, COOK, AND HAVE A CLOSET WHERE WE CAN PUT OUR CLOTHES AND SHOES; SO WE CAN OPEN IT UP IN OUR HOMES AND GET DRESS. HOPEFULLY THEY WILL GIVE US MORE JOBS TO MAKE COINS AND A WAY TO GET THE CASH, THAT SOME CAN’T AFFORD. I HAVE ALOT OF IDEAS AND HAVE SUBMITTED THEM TO ZYNGA. ZYNGA DID NOT LISTEN TO THOSE, BUT THEY DID TAKE ONE OF MY IDEAS AND USED IT..WHICH WAS THE YO MART..I WAS THE FIRST ONE IN YOVILLE TO COME UP WITH A YO MART..I WAS SELLING ITEMS AT A REASONABLE PRICE SO OTHERS THAT PLAYED WHO DID NOT HAVE ALOT OF COINS, COULD COME AND BUY…I EVEN GAVE ITEMS AWAY…WELL, WE THANK ZYNGA FOR NOT CLOSING OUR BELOVED GAME AND WE THANK BIG VIKING GAMES FOR SUPPORTING US IN THE SAVING OF YOVILLE AND WE THANK ALL THE MEDIA FOR HELPING US GET OUR STORY OUT AND BEING INSTRUMENTAL IN SAVING YOVILLE…YOU ALL ARE ALL AWESOME! GOD BLESS

  • http://Facebook Sylvia Harlow

    We are partying in YoVille now. But we remain watchful and hope to move to Big Viking Games.

  • http://Facebook Ralinda Foreman

    I am another player excited to see my Yovile saved. I am alike the other hundreds of people who are disabled. Yoville is a place where I can go and walk freely. Move as though I have no disabilities. Meeting friends from all walks of life. I have found friends all over the world. Nice, wonderful, people that I never would have ever come to know, had it not bee for Yoville. I have been playing Yoville since 2008, way before farmville was even hardly mentioned. No other game has had this interaction as Yoville. I was almost at my wits end, the last of my rope, when the thought of my beloved Yoville was on the chopping block. Thank You, Bless you, for saving Yoville. To Big Viking Games for saving us, giving us the chance to live again. Thank you to Zynga for having the courage and the kindness to sell it back to BVG. I applaud you….Yes I’ve spent a lot of money on Yoville, but to me? It was never about the money. It was about the peace, that it gave to my heart. My life. The chance to be whole again without any judgements. Ralinda

  • Twyla

    I was absolutely delighted to find out that we helped to save our game after all the petitions, protests, and everything! I really do LOVE playing YoVille, and have playing for about 4 years now. I work TWO all-night jobs and am allowed to pass the time in between customers by being online, reading, drawing, etc… YoVille is one of the funnest ways to pass the time, and I am *SO* happy that we can continue to play it! I have made many marvelous friends in game and have designed a plethora of rooms. Extremely hopeful that after the conclusion of their selling/buying/partnering process that the Events will be the first thing that they begin fixing for us, as well as gifting more than 1 gift per day like we used to! It would also make almost everyone happy to have a gold rush monthly, starting as soon as possible to make us feel special for hanging on so dearly to our game. :D Oh and a seriously outstanding storage idea that was posted in the forum by Mei Mei last year would be an absolutely brilliant way of reducing the awful lag in game and in our inventories! I sure hope they’re reading this, that would be terrific! :D <3

  • Ladystone

    Great story! We YoVillians have a really hard time getting new yonews these days. We keep waiting for that Big Viking Ship to sail into harbor and plunder and pillage us into a friendlier atmosphere where customer service is something that means something.

  • Yovillian2009

    “When Zynga announced it was pulling the plug, it had around 354,000 daily users”

    I found it very odd that Zynga would try to sunset one of the oldest games debuted on Facebook with that many daily players. I’ve seen many other less popular games of all kinds operate for many years at just around 100,000 players.

    Another thing was that Zynga kept reassuring people on their forum that Yoville was “here to stay,” which encouraged people to keep investing in it which I believe is a very short-sighted if not treacherous thing to do to such loyal and faithful customers.

    Lastly, were it not for their neglect and incompetent management of the game: too many themes being trotted out, major themes being phased out too quickly, and not dealing so well with the riffraff of Yoville known as the childish hacker groups with hex editing software to disrupt game play and the appalling losses of items from hacked accounts (of which I was victim to and never compensated); all led to the significant drop in interested players from millions to what it is today.

    But to completely remove a game for their mishandling despite assuring their community of fans that Yoville wasn’t going anywhere was, to put it bluntly, a pretty rotten thing to do. Especially when they were devoting energy into creating other games at the same time such as the “Hidden Chronicles” game they recently debuted, a hidden object/puzzle mystery game, to compete with the phenomenally successful “Criminal Case” game by another developer, though it made sense they wanted to bank on staying above the popularity current, it still didn’t make any sense to remove supports from an already firmly established and highly unique game that really cannot be duplicated and still has not been to this day. (I know, because I have looked for one.)

    I sincerely hope they will not try to make it difficult to transfer the game back to its original creators at Big Viking Games. I think Zynga’s done enough already to sink a really creative and unmatched peer to peer social game that by itself could shine in the gaming world of complete copycats and ripoffs all vying for attention. In this, Yoville stands alone.

    I and many others have made it very clear that if Zynga sunk this game, I would play no others from them and definitely not put anymore money into their company because of no faith in them at all, which is the bottom line (and of course, their bread and butter.) And I will not, and have not, played their games ever since they announced Yoville’s execution.

    Can’t wait til they get their hands off it and let someone who will nurture it take control of the wheel and steer this baby back to success. The art-form and creativity is there; it’s just waiting for the right team to successfully and skillfully do right by it and make it profitable again for both player and developer, which in the end is what we all want. Viva la Yoville!~

  • Mary Church

    Thank you for you news post & positivity for YoVille!
    Yoville is a huge community of world wide friends & family… We are that way by choice. Some of us have rallied, shouted, screamed… written to news reporters all over the place… tweeted & wrote opinions… & yes many of us were intent upon bocoyting zynga completly… I am happy to see some movement in the right direction. We are not “safe” till the deal is done & the papers signed.
    Marby Owls of YoVille

  • Mary Church

    I agree… we are showing our appreciation but still at rallies of celebration being cautiously encouraged.

  • Toni Lockhart

    Just a short note to thank you for saving Yoville. It is a community of friends who though miles apart, remain close to in heart. It’s not simply a game where one scores points….we share each other’s lives. On top of all that…it’s Fun! We love collecting the items and using them in decorating houses. We appreciate everything you have done and hopefully will do.

  • BabyKay Bell

    First of All .. I Wanna Say THANK YOU!!! to Big Viking Games… For Listening To us.. and to Zynga… We Was Only Wanting What Was Rightfully Ours… Many Of Us Yovillans Have Spent Alot Of Our Hard Earned Money And Time into Yoville.. Which to Me And many Others.. is Not A Game… Its More Like A SecondLife… And I Sincerely Thank You All And My Fellow Yovillans For Standing United As We Took This Long Road To Fight For Our Right To Keep Our Home!!! “Yoville”… I Sincerely Thank You!!!…. “Yoville” is Ours!!!… Wo0t Wo0t!!..

  • http://Facebook Lisa Jo Jackson

    Thank you for trying to figure out how to keep us playing… I love this game and would hate to see it shut down. Plus I love the people who play it and are dedicated to helping each other out. Thanks again!!

  • Mary

    Very thrilled that Yo isn’t closing on 3-31-3014. Hoping it stays open for years and years. :)