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End of an era: FarmVille is finally being put out to pasture

(Image credit: Zynga)
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There was a time when FarmVille (opens in new tab) was one of the biggest games in the world. It became a massive hit on Facebook shortly after it launched in 2009, and helped make a behemoth out of social game company Zynga. But entropy consumes all, and by 2011 its fortunes began to fade, and with the loss of Flash support looming—Adobe is pulling the plug on December 31—Zynga has decided that it's time to take the old girl behind the barn. "Gramps, why have you got your shotgun?"

It's a distant memory now—I honestly haven't even thought about it in years—but it's hard to overstate the impact that FarmVille had at the time. This is the game that made Facebook a gaming platform: Zynga accounted for 12 percent (opens in new tab) of Facebook's total revenues in 2011, and even if you weren't playing it yourself, you almost certainly knew at least three people who were.

In-app purchases in FarmVille will be disabled on November 17, but the game will continue to run until December 31 and content updates with new farms and features will roll out until the shutdown. Refunds for in-game currency will not be offered, but Zynga is offering a "Bonus Package" for players who make the move to FarmVille 2: Tropic Escape. Full details, if you need them, are available in this FarmVille shutdown FAQ (opens in new tab).

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.