Zynga to Shut Down Original ‘Farmville,’ Once Facebook’s Most Popular Game, At End of 2020

FarmVille was the top game by daily active users on Facebook between August 2009 and December 2010

Zynga’s original farming simulation game “FarmVille” will be shut down at the end of this year after over a decade, the company announced Monday.

The game launched in 2009 and was one of the first games credited with driving players to Facebook Gaming during Facebook’s early days of building out the platform. It was the top game by daily active users on Facebook between August 2009 and December 2010, according to Zynga.

Zynga’s sequel to the game, “FarmVille 2,” is available on mobile phones. Spinoffs from Zynga including “CityVille” and “FarmVille 3” also remain operational.

“We’re aware that many of you have been with us since the very beginning, helping to build an incredible global community of players over the years who’ve enjoyed this game just as much as we have,” Zynga said in a statement Sept. 28. “For that we say thank you.”

Zynga said “FarmVille” will shut down completely before the New Year on Dec. 31.

The discontinuation is happening in part because Adobe will soon stop updating and distributing its Flash Player for web browsers, forcing Facebook’s gaming platform to also boot Flash games from the platform after Dec. 31. Flash gaming was the predominant way of developing online and mobile games in the early 2000s and is now replaced by HTML5, a faster and more portable coding language that developers say is also easier to frequently update.

“In advance of sunsetting the game, we would like to point out that in-app purchases will be available up until Nov. 17, at which point the game’s payment system will be completely turned off,” Zynga added, noting that players who want refunds for in-game purchases will not receive them — “Thereafter the game will not be accepting any in-app payments and any refunds will not be processed during this time.”