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The “creators” (yeah, I did it) of games like FarmVille, CityVille, PetVille, Mafia Wars and more have made a ton of money in the areas of developer purchasing, app copying and game sales. For a while, they were one of the fastest growing gaming companies in a world. Just like the inevitable burst of the Facebook gaming bubble, however, it seems Zynga is in a mode of readjustment to potentially overcome their current downward trend.
As reported by the folks at TechCrunch, Zynga has elected to shut down operations for 11 different games. Chief among them are PetVille and Mafia Wars 2. Here’s the full breakdown.
PetVille – Shut down December 30th
Mafia Wars 2 - Shut down December 30th
FishVille – Shut down December 5th
Vampire Wars – Shut down December 5th
Treasure Isle – Shut down December 5th
Indiana Jones Adventure World – Closed to new players, shuts down January 14th
Mafia Wars Shakedown – Pulled from app stores
Forestville – Pulled from app stores
Montopia – Shut down December 21st
Mojitomo – Pulled from app stores
Word Scramble Challenge – Pulled from app stores
As TechCrunch poignantly points out, these closures are a big deal for people who actually invested in the games themselves. Since Zynga runs its online offerings on a free-to-play model, it’s possible that some PetVille fans dumped a ton of money into microtransactions once they were addicted to the property. That money and those virtual goods? Gone.
Zynga did offer up a consolation prize, though. Here’s what the PetVille crowd, for instance, was offered.
We appreciate your participation in PetVille as it helped make the game a fun place to meet and war with friends. As a loyal PetVille player, you are eligible for a one-time, complimentary bonus package in one of either Castleville, or Chefville, or Farmville 2, or Mafia Wars or Yoville. You can start the process by logging into PetVille and clicking on the “Redeem” button. Please note that this offer will be valid only until Dec 30, 2012
What do you think of these closures? Is this only part of the end for Zynga? Or, is this part of a bigger comeback?