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

(Image credit: Zynga)

There was a time when FarmVille 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 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.

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.