Many are speculating what is going to happen with Farmville. Zynga has always had an aggressive marketing campaign aimed at turning every Facebook user into a Farmville farmer. Farmville allows players to build virtual farms and Vikings by growing crops, animals and earning resources and money. Zynga has even trademarked the game’s name and encourages people to imitate its famous formula. If you’re wondering if Farmville is about to end, read on.
Zynga has always intended to have as many people as possible to play its games so that its game rooms remain crowded. This month it is releasing two additional games: SQL backup. These will be available on both the iPhone and iPad. Both have shown tremendous growth on the initial days, but analysts have raised questions about their staying power. Will users who have grown used to using Facebook to socialize continue to spend hours on end on these apps? In December, we’ll find out.
Will Zynga shut down entirely at the end of the year? Not likely. Facebook continues to enjoy massive traffic, even in the face of stiff competition from apps like Farmville and apps that let Facebook users create communities on their own devices. If Facebook decides to kill off its flash player, it will be a significant blow to developers who depend on it to generate revenue. A recent update to the Facebook application stated that it is “working hard” to improve the situation.
Will there be fewer ads and other means of monetization when the Facebook switchover occurs? No, there won’t be any fewer ads. That’s one of the theories behind why Facebook is making the change in the first place. Instead of needing to pay for expensive ads, the company will make its revenue from the content of the games that it hosts. Facebook’s Flash plugin will still allow it to host video games and other forms of media. Publishers like EA are already taking advantage of this by allowing players to purchase packs of their games using their Facebook accounts.
When will we know if the rumor is true? Well, we’ve been told that the test will begin in the coming weeks, not months. Publishers will also have to publish an official statement about the end of Flash Games on Facebook. No exact date has yet been given, and it’s not clear whether the Flash plugin’s functionality will be affected. It would be a significant loss for Facebook if it were to lose the Flash users, but it doesn’t seem to be the losing side by any means.
There’s no telling what the future holds for the Facebook Farmville or Facebook Flash Games industry. A few years ago, Zynga was reportedly working on a new game with a focus on farming. Their next project will be around the theme of pets, and it could very well turn out to be the source of the end of the flash player support for Facebook. If so, publishers will have no choice but to start looking for other platforms to support their products. Publishers aren’t likely to shift to another platform before mid-2021, though they may decide to do so after the upcoming Farmville release.
Publishers must start thinking about their future strategies now, while there’s still time to get the new platform implemented. Suppose you remember what happened at the end of last year when Facebook announced that they would require users to sign up for an additional monthly subscription to access the “limited features” that would allow Flash players to run on Facebook. In that case, publishers may want to hold off on any plans to release the flash player until December 31st. By then, it’s unlikely that publishers will have another option to allow the use of the Flash plugin.
Publishers have until the end of this month to find a way to get the feature into the publishing games. If they don’t, they may have to find an alternative solution or wait until the quality becomes a permanent part of the game that they’re publishing instead. Right now, it’s anyone’s guess as to how this whole situation is going to work out. If you own a Facebook account and play on Facebook, it’s probably a good idea to play one of your Facebook games on the simulator, just in case.