Zynga Inc (ZNGA) Declares “Game Over” For Stalwart YoVille

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Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) informed its users a few days ago that it would close down one of its oldest games by the end of March, says a report from Venturebeat. YoVille, which has been enjoyed by players since 2008, is a social game for users to play in a town-like community. At one point in time, the game was enjoyed by millions by players, and inspired a full series of “Ville” games including titles like FarmVille.

Fans very disappointed by YoVille closure

In December 2012, Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) promised not to shut down YoVille. The players contended that they paid for VIP memberships on the basis of such promises. Now, when players log in to YoVille, a note of the difficult decision to close the game down appears on the screen. To make amends, the company is offering users gifts of virtual goods (bag of fertilizer etc), which they could use in other games (FarmVille 2, Zynga Poker, and Hit It Rich! Casino Slots).

Fans of the title (popularly called YoVillians) are very disappointed over the news, and have initiated a campaign to save YoVille, which has already received more than 5,000 signatures. Fans are threatening to boycott Zynga totally if it ends the game.

“We, the undersigned, vow to stop playing ALL Zynga games if YoVille is shut down. Sell the game to another company if you have no interest in maintaining it, but do not just pull the plug. If you do, you will lose us completely as customers.”

Are turnaround efforts by Zynga working?

The San Francisco based firm said in a statement “Zynga recently made the tough decision to sunset YoVille so we can put more time and energy into developing new games for our players.”

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), which is the process of turnaround, has reduced its workforce and closed a number of games. The game maker has been struggling to make a transition from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) games to mobile titles on iOS and Android. The company has been witnessing a sharp decline it the number of users, which prompted the game maker to end the veteran title YoVille.

The fact that the company still plans to close down games reflects the inefficacy of the turnaround efforts.  Don Mattrick, who joined last summer, said earlier that he is in the process reassessing and resetting the company’s product pipeline along with working on new projects.

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About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at [email protected]

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