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Zynga Pulls Plug on YoVille - Million$ in YoCash evaporate!


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#1 Dream Cutter   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 204

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:36 PM

Zynga announced yesterday that its pulling the plug on its widely popular, 6 year running social game, YoVille with 90 days advance notice to users.  Acquired initially from Big Tree (now Big Viking Games) Zynga positioned the unique social network game prominently and made millions off sales of its YoCash and advertising , YoVille is highly unique in that it offers a real-time chat/emoto communication system that engages Facebook players into its virtual society with seasonal products and holiday themed events that pushed the envelope for virtual asset sales like no other game before it, 

 

Is YoVilles ship sunk yet?  Not so fast... The user base is really vocal and already a number of grass root efforts are underway.  And now here is some rumor that initial developer may have interest in re-obtaining the license to right this great ship before she settles in the mud for good.

 

YoVilles customer base is unique, many "die hards" NEED yoville as a social outlet whether they are shut ins, paraplegic, deaf,  or have that catfush tendency Yoville is one of a few remaining places where physical attrributes are ignored, individual obscurity accepted and the avatars that care and look after each other,  Its the best place for dynamic, toon-face drama!

 

What do you think about Zynga de-funding and killing a project that holds paid consumer assets in its servers? It may be legal according to the games EULA & TOS, however is it right?  Some folks have not even spent their yocash holdings and others have not explored all their achievements.  


Edited by Dream Cutter, 18 January 2014 - 06:14 PM.

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#2 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3206

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:43 PM

YoVilles customer base is unique, many "die hards" NEED yoville as a social outlet whether they are shut ins, paraplegic, deaf,  or have that catfush tendency Yoville is one of a few remaining places where physical attrributes are ignored, individual obscurity accepted and the avatars that care and look after each other,  Its the best place for dynamic, toon-face drama!

I disagree with this statement, those users existed before Yoville came around, and will continue existing after Yoville is gone, they will simply find something new to pour their time into.

What do you think about Zynga de-funding and killing a project that holds paid consumer assets in its servers? It may be legal according to the games EULA & TOS, however is it right?  Some folks have not even spent their yocash holdings and others have not explored all their achievements.

This is another case of realization that the consumer has no rights to that property, it's a pay to use model, not a pay to own model. if you can't accept that, then you need to find something else to invest your money in. personally I think it's unrealistic to think the game servers would be kept up in defiantly, the day will come when they are shut down, and it looks like that day is fast approaching.
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#3 Erik Rufelt   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3042

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:43 PM

I don't really know how the game works.. does it require constant work by the developers so they can't just leave a server running somewhere without anyone working on it?



#4 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17153

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:45 PM

Games shouldn't have to be supported in perpetuity. Zynga supported it for 6 years? Good for them!

If there is still money to be had in it, some other business should buy it and keep on running it.

If there isn't any money left to be had, but the community still wants it, the community should buy it, open source it, and self-host. (Blender, Meridian 59, and dozens of old MUDs and ORPGs).

 

When games and software are service-based, these kind of problems occur.


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#5 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3714

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:52 PM

Yo ville be closed yo.


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#6 Dream Cutter   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 204

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 05:55 PM

 

YoVilles customer base is unique, many "die hards" NEED yoville as a social outlet whether they are shut ins, paraplegic, deaf,  or have that catfush tendency Yoville is one of a few remaining places where physical attrributes are ignored, individual obscurity accepted and the avatars that care and look after each other,  Its the best place for dynamic, toon-face drama!

I disagree with this statement, those users existed before Yoville came around, and will continue existing after Yoville is gone, they will simply find something new to pour their time into.

 

Ok, maybe WANT would be more accurate.  However there is a larger population of elderly, and disabled in YV because of its unique social features in a 2D illustrated game,  Its non threatening, toon characters endeared themselves to the user base.
 

What do you think about Zynga de-funding and killing a project that holds paid consumer assets in its servers? It may be legal according to the games EULA & TOS, however is it right?  Some folks have not even spent their yocash holdings and others have not explored all their achievements.

This is another case of realization that the consumer has no rights to that property, it's a pay to use model, not a pay to own model. if you can't accept that, then you need to find something else to invest your money in. personally I think it's unrealistic to think the game servers would be kept up in defiantly, the day will come when they are shut down, and it looks like that day is fast approaching.

 

Yep - Like the old ladies really could read the fine print.  You do not seem to realize that revenue is still being leveraged from the consumers through in game sales. Its not insubstantial either, like an avatar wig (2d sprite) costs $5 us.  Users buying one yesterday would only be able to use the sprite fort 90 days max.  Kind of a rip.  Also consider some players invested thousands on their sprite library.  Also Zynga offered a premium VIP service that is being violated (TERMS) by this action.


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#7 Dream Cutter   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 204

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 05:59 PM

>>Games shouldn't have to be supported in perpetuity. Zynga supported it for 6 years? Good for them!  <<

Zynga is still selling through Yoville, and getting new revenue from it citizens. Nice guys they are... the owners drained 4 billion in capitol out of the firm and then do not have revenue to continue sufficient R&D.  The class action suit may have some merit.  It will certainly break some new ground and the result could reshape the MMO industry.

 


Edited by Dream Cutter, 10 January 2014 - 06:05 PM.

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#8 Dream Cutter   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 204

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 06:28 PM

I don't really know how the game works.. does it require constant work by the developers so they can't just leave a server running somewhere without anyone working on it?

Its a 2d flash game integrated with Facebook API.  Maintenance beyond hosting and security is really product development.  There are 2d artists that create flash objects that either promote items by enhancing the user experience with seasonal themes and decorations, or make the actual items for sale.  Most items are 2D sprites, however there are some flash animation effects and midi files that also are sold in the virtual stores in Yoville.  They also sell 2D real-estate that are environments that can be decorated by further purchasing and "winning" items. YoVille gameplay is like an animated version of "Colorforms" of yesteryear in a adult kindergarten, where kids made scenes and played "house" together using vinyl cutouts.


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#9 Erik Rufelt   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3042

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 06:43 PM

 

I don't really know how the game works.. does it require constant work by the developers so they can't just leave a server running somewhere without anyone working on it?

Its a 2d flash game integrated with Facebook API.  Maintenance beyond hosting and security is really product development.  There are 2d artists that create flash objects that either promote items by enhancing the user experience with seasonal themes and decorations, or make the actual items for sale.  Most items are 2D sprites, however there are some flash animation effects and midi files that also are sold in the virtual stores in Yoville.  They also sell 2D real-estate that are environments that can be decorated by further purchasing and "winning" items. YoVille gameplay is like an animated version of "Colorforms" of yesteryear in a adult kindergarten, where kids made scenes and played "house" together using vinyl cutouts.

 

 

Sounds like they could just cease development and let the old stuff be there freely with about zero cost. Perhaps they aim to sell it, or believe the players will move on to another one of their games so they want it gone in order to free them up for other things.



#10 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3694

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 06:46 PM

Games shouldn't have to be supported in perpetuity. Zynga supported it for 6 years? Good for them!
If there is still money to be had in it, some other business should buy it and keep on running it.
If there isn't any money left to be had, but the community still wants it, the community should buy it, open source it, and self-host. (Blender, Meridian 59, and dozens of old MUDs and ORPGs).
 
When games and software are service-based, these kind of problems occur.


Agreed on all points. I work at a place that makes similar kinds of games. Keeping servers running requires server maintenance personnel (because servers crash and hardware dies randomly regardless of what you do) even if you stop adding new content. At some point, you have to stop supporting the older games in order to make room for new ones. Otherwise your consumption of servers and maintenance people becomes unbounded.

We're trying to make mobile games though, and designing them so they can optionally be played without a network connection. Obviously you can't buy anything for real money or communicate with your friends without a connection to the servers, but it's better than just pulling the plug on the server and having everyone unable to play at all.

Edited by Nypyren, 10 January 2014 - 06:48 PM.


#11 Shippou   Members   -  Reputation: 1334

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:15 AM

YoVilles customer base is unique, many "die hards" NEED yoville as a social outlet whether they are shut ins, paraplegic, deaf,  or have that catfush tendency Yoville is one of a few remaining places where physical attrributes are ignored, individual obscurity accepted and the avatars that care and look after each other,  Its the best place for dynamic, toon-face drama!

 

 I've heard the same arguments from when they unplugged Habbo Hotel 2 yeas ago ...

 

 If people have a "need" ( addiction ) for virtual socialization, Second Life is still alive and kicking.


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#12 LoriJ   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 02:16 AM


I disagree with this statement, those users existed before Yoville came around, and will continue existing after Yoville is gone, they will simply find something new to pour their time into.

 

I am one of the "die hard" Yoville players.  At 54, I have never before, nor will I ever again, find a game that I enjoy like Yoville.  Truth is, I will probably never even look again. If you haven't played this game, and experienced the social aspect of it, you may not understand what is involved in the relationships formed, friendships bonded.  It's more than a bunch of avatars.  We have gotten to know eachother on a personal level.  I met a woman on Yoville that I found had all the same interests, etc. that I do in our real lives.  Yoville was the vehicle that started a great real friendship.  We talk daily on the phone now and keep up on eachother's childrens, families, jobs, etc.  She's like my BFF that I should have had closer to home, but would never have met if not for Yoville.  We have cheered together at births of grandkids, we've cried together over deaths in the families, we've given advice on everything from laundry to love to career paths...  She lives 3000 miles away and yet, we can talk about anything and everything like we've known eachother our entire lives.  

 

This community is so tightly knit that when someone in yoville has news to share, we all share it.  Several of the members have met in real life and even married because of this game.  Inside the game, we celebrated one such wedding by hosting a "yo-wedding" complete with gifts given to the happy couple and all.  We've done the same as we mourned the loss of one of the first ever forumers who had contributed so much and started the "Wishlist Thread".  She was stricken with Cancer and we all kept tabs on her throughout her ordeal.  She said once that the people in the game brightened her days even at the end when she no longer could enjoy getting out with her own real life friends and family, she could still go to a yo-party somewhere and for that brief time, she could feel somewhat normal again.  We all got together at one location on the server and hosted her funeral and memorial with her entire real life family in attendance.  Her grown daughter thanked us at the end and told her that she never really understood what her mother had seen in this game until that moment.  

 

And yet its even more than that.  We have an "events tab" (currently not working) but when it was working, we could set up events - parties, sales, etc. and meet up with all sorts of people.  I personally built an auction house and hosted nightly auctions after my kids went to bed during my "unwind time".  They were a riot!!!!  There are yard sales, and beauty pageants, and classes, and group therapy sessions, and places where people just pick a topic they want to discuss and post an event about it, and people show up and voice different opinions on any given topic all from around the globe.  

 

There are countless videos on youtube of the protests we all got together to forge when they changed our factory (how we make coins) to a bakery that we all hated.  One of these videos even made it on to CNN because we were all so passionate about working together to make a positive change in the game to keep it working for everyone's pleasure.  And even more videos of any number of little Yo's all decked out in their finest new outfit doing dance videos or "how to" videos to teach the "newbies" some of the tricks to getting ahead in the game and becoming RICH!  (some legal, some not so much)

 

I would tell you that my real personal life is pretty awesome, but there is something about Yoville that makes me come back daily to check in with all the folks there, read the forum, make some coin, maybe sell some stuff to make more coin, and satisfy my inner "interior designer".  The creativity in this game is incredible.  So many of the players are quite talented artists in their own right.  There are contests on the forums to give those designers an opportunity to showcase their designs and we all vote on the best ones and the developers have started using some of those designs, and we all wait in great anticipation for the release of the items so we can own them!  

 

I started playing Yoville shortly after its inception (I began in April, 2009) and I've not missed a single day of popping in game at least briefly.  And though it may sound strange to some, it's given me great comfort through the difficult times in my life so I can only imagine what a boost it must give those who are shut in or whatever.  For example, one night, I got a call that my granny had died.  I loved her so deeply and I was home alone and feeling totally lost.  I signed in the game, decorated a garden in her honor (she had the most gorgeous flower gardens) and posted a picture of it on the forum with a brief statement that it was a tribute to my granny as I couldn't sleep.  You would not believe the responses I got to that.  There were 7 or 8 of us who stayed up all night long sharing stories on the forum about fun memories with our grandmothers and gifting presents to eachother that went along with the stories told.  It got me through one of the roughest nights of my life because though some may see it as a silly little game, it's more about the people behind those cute little avatars.  

 

I am one of the VIP members who is getting ripped off in this deal.  The membership is a monthly charge.  I understand business and realize that like all things in life, this costs money to keep it going so I figured it was my fair share to pay to play.  However, the agreement on that is we pay a certain fee, we get 20 yocash a week and 2 new hair styles per month on average (that's 18-20 yocash each).  There have been no new releases in the last few months and though I have gotten my weekly yocash, I have not received all the hair I was promised.  When the glitches started, and the events tab broke, and this was shut down, and that was broken, etc., we started all asking on the forum for some honest answers about what was going on with the game and if it was on its way out or what.  WE WERE ASSURED THAT THEY HAD GOOD NEWS!!!!  YOVILLE IS HERE TO STAY!!!!!!!!!!!  So we continued to pay our monthly premiums, and yesterday got the blaring news that we've been paying to keep a game going that they are closing.  

 

Even worse, they want to do something "special" to their loyal Yoville players so they are offering us "special packages" on 3 of their other games.  These are games I would NEVER play.  Ironically, I am forced to pay for my yocash through facebook credits, yet they aren't refunding through those same credits.  They're keeping the money and hoping I'll take up poker.  No thanks.  If I'm gonna play poker, I'm gonna be sitting at the table with a nice bunch of guys, sipping a cold one and I may even have a cigar!!!  

 

It is my opinion, and I speak freely for thousands here, that they have handled this whole situation poorly during the last months.  It is our hope that someone will, indeed, buy the game and keep it running.  We are an older group than most "gamers" obviously, but then again, in business, isn't this older crowd a more affluent demographic than most?  I know I have more disposable income since the kids are grown, the house is paid off and all that... Most of us throw $50 to $250 a month at the game.  There are over 6 million fans of the game at last count (before it all started falling apart a few months ago).  That's a sizable cash flow before you add the advertising dollars that are generated from the game as well.  I truly believe it to be a profitable option if anyone is willing to take it on.  

 

If you've read this far, thank you.  I know this is lengthy, but I felt a need to give some perspective to the reality of those affected since this thread reads like most are not familiar much with the game.  I hope you'll help us all find a buyer QUICKLY!!!  Thanks! 



#13 LoriJ   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 02:46 AM


f there isn't any money left to be had, but the community still wants it, the community should buy it, open source it, and self-host. (Blender, Meridian 59, and dozens of old MUDs and ORPGs).
 

 

I hate to sound stupid here, but how would we do that?  This may be a solution, but I'm clueless as to the "how to" aspect of it.  



#14 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17153

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 04:02 AM

I disagree with this statement, those users existed before Yoville came around, and will continue existing after Yoville is gone, they will simply find something new to pour their time into.

 
I am one of the "die hard" Yoville players.  At 54, I have never before, nor will I ever again, find a game that I enjoy like Yoville.  Truth is, I will probably never even look again. If you haven't played this game, and experienced the social aspect of it, you may not understand what is involved in the relationships formed, friendships bonded.  It's more than a bunch of avatars.  We have gotten to know eachother on a personal level.  I met a woman on Yoville that I found had all the same interests, etc. that I do in our real lives.  Yoville was the vehicle that started a great real friendship.  We talk daily on the phone now and keep up on eachother's childrens, families, jobs, etc.  She's like my BFF that I should have had closer to home, but would never have met if not for Yoville.  We have cheered together at births of grandkids, we've cried together over deaths in the families, we've given advice on everything from laundry to love to career paths...  She lives 3000 miles away and yet, we can talk about anything and everything like we've known eachother our entire lives.  
 
This community is so tightly knit that when someone in yoville has news to share, we all share it.  Several of the members have met in real life and even married because of this game.  Inside the game, we celebrated one such wedding by hosting a "yo-wedding" complete with gifts given to the happy couple and all.

 
The point some of the others are trying to make here is that the game itself wasn't what you enjoyed, it was the people. The game itself isn't anything more amazing or less amazing than other games (where other communities have had similar experiences of close-knit friendships, weddings, deaths, and so on). What you've experienced has actually been going on inside and outside games on the internet since the 1980s! I really do understand - this has occurred before in a dozen different forms (it's an interest of mine to occasionally study them). It's not the technology, it's the people. Your loss is real, but not impossible to overcome.
 
For a non-internet analogy, it's like a specific bar that has existed for 50 years. Everyone in the bar knows each other. They've shared each others' pains and joys. They don't come for the beer (just as you don't come for the gameplay) so much as for the fellowship of their friends who have become more then friends. They are used to the bar: the smoothness of the wood counter, the background chatter of friends, the salty slightly mildewy smell of the atmosphere, the soft click of the pool table that is slightly off-balance in one foot, the friendly faces and warm recognizable voices that they've come to know and love.
 
But now the bar is going to be destroyed to make way for a strip mall. Devastation. It is a real disaster, a real loss, to the people that have come to call it home. Multiple generations have know that bar - fathers and sons and grandsons. It's a real loss. But the people of the bar aren't going to disappear.
The people have choices:
1) They can find a different gathering place. Others will already be there, but they can merge the old group into the new. It'd be arkward and weird and uncomfortable at first, but over time the two groups will become one, and it'll feel like home again. Not the same home - a different home, but still a home that they'll not just adapt to, but be comfortable and warm in.
 
2) They can set up a new gathering place. The bar itself is a loss, but the loss of the people is the real issue. By getting the people together, and keeping them together, they can collectively relocate to a new place, "remaking" the bar in a new location. It could be someone's family room as a informal once-a-week gathering, or it could be a full business being opened and managed by the community.
 
Step one: Setup a (free) community internet forum, not controlled by Zynga, and start getting the community to meet there to discuss and plan what to do.
 
3) They can try to buy the bar. It'll cost alot of money, and it'll require alot of work (and more money) to run and maintain. But it's been done before.
 
4) They can do nothing, and accomplish nothing.
 
5) They can protest, and (probably) accomplish nothing. Protesting has, in very rare circumstances, resulted in a real desirable outcome. But in most cases, life moves on and the protestors don't get what they want. It's not the surest way to victory.
 

f there isn't any money left to be had, but the community still wants it, the community should buy it, open source it, and self-host. (Blender, Meridian 59, and dozens of old MUDs and ORPGs).

I hate to sound stupid here, but how would we do that?  This may be a solution, but I'm clueless as to the "how to" aspect of it.


If 'protesting' is the lowest chance of success, 'buying it' is probably the hardest to accomplish. Who'd own it? Where would the money come from? Who'd manage/moderate it? Who'd maintain it and keep it running? These are the kinds of obstacles that'd need to be overcome. 
 
Also, Zynga would have to be open to selling it - a corporation that cares nothing about its bottom line dollar isn't likely to sell one of its cash cows to establish a competitor without a serious amount of cash changing hands - after all, this is a company that shuts down profitable games just because they are only "million dollar" profitable and not "hundred-million-dollar" profitable. They'd have to be convinced that they are getting a better deal than their existing deal (tens of thousands of users paying them money every month) that they already aren't impressed by.
 
But it's been done before - ask the heads of the Blender Foundation for advice; they are an artist community that raised money and bought out a 3D modelling software and then have successfully managed it as a non-for-profit organization for years and have made it one of the best 3D modelling softwares available - not just buying what it used to be, but continued to improve and expand it.
 
Also reach out to the Free Software Foundation, and see if they can give you advice. They are a group of lawyers and programmers who support and aid communities and organizations who release and maintain software that is freely available and freely modifiable.
 
Once purchased, you'd need some seriously serious technical expertise. Not just some clever teenagers who know computers, but some really dedicated, focused, and educated computer experts in the field of server administration, network programming, and web-programming. YoVille specifically, because of certain technical details of it's nature, while be especially hard. It's (most likely) integrated into and dependant on Zynga's server farm hardware and distribution software layers - you'll need skilled (really skilled) people who can comprehend what Zynga's custom proprietary code was doing (it'd be like reading egyptian hieroglyphics - having to decipher things bit by bit) and then rewrite most of it to move it to a different server farm (I'd suggest Amazon.com's, as theirs is the best and the cheapest - but Amazon won't help at all - they expect you to be technical - it's not their job to write or maintain other people's code for them).
 
Honestly... it's about the people, not the game. Why waste money (lots of money), time (lots of time), and labor (lots of labor) to save the game, if your actual goal is keeping the community together? Setup an internet forum to gather in, toss down $10 a year for a domain name, and $20 a month for some web hosting, and do the (hard, but far easier than the alternatives) work of moving the community over to that forum. Yes, you'll lose a portion of the community during the migration - but that's really unavoidable whatever path you choose. Taking it from there, if you want a virtual environment to inhabit, than together as a community pick one of the five thousand that already exist, finding whichever fits your community best, and stake a claim to it.
 
If that doesn't work, invest the time, money, and labor to make a virtual world custom-made for your community. It's a huge undertaking, and very very costly, but even that would be easier than trying to save a bar when there are plans for a twenty-million-dollar stripmall to be built there. Why save the bar? Relocating the community is hard, but not as hard.

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#15 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3714

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 07:04 AM

I wonder if it would be too costly to maintain the game running until it dies off a natural death. Ie, make it work with whatever further developments Facebook does, but no new anything beyond that.

 

AFAIK server hosting is the cheapest part of the whole process (content creation, testing, deployment, development, etc).


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#16 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3206

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 09:20 AM

I disagree with this statement, those users existed before Yoville came around, and will continue existing after Yoville is gone, they will simply find something new to pour their time into.

 
I am one of the "die hard" Yoville players.  At 54, I have never before, nor will I ever again, find a game that I enjoy like Yoville.  Truth is, I will probably never even look again. If you haven't played this game, and experienced the social aspect of it, you may not understand what is involved in the relationships formed, friendships bonded.  It's more than a bunch of avatars.  We have gotten to know eachother on a personal level.  I met a woman on Yoville that I found had all the same interests, etc. that I do in our real lives.  Yoville was the vehicle that started a great real friendship.  We talk daily on the phone now and keep up on eachother's childrens, families, jobs, etc.  She's like my BFF that I should have had closer to home, but would never have met if not for Yoville.  We have cheered together at births of grandkids, we've cried together over deaths in the families, we've given advice on everything from laundry to love to career paths...  She lives 3000 miles away and yet, we can talk about anything and everything like we've known eachother our entire lives.  
 
This community is so tightly knit that when someone in yoville has news to share, we all share it.  Several of the members have met in real life and even married because of this game.  Inside the game, we celebrated one such wedding by hosting a "yo-wedding" complete with gifts given to the happy couple and all.  We've done the same as we mourned the loss of one of the first ever forumers who had contributed so much and started the "Wishlist Thread".  She was stricken with Cancer and we all kept tabs on her throughout her ordeal.  She said once that the people in the game brightened her days even at the end when she no longer could enjoy getting out with her own real life friends and family, she could still go to a yo-party somewhere and for that brief time, she could feel somewhat normal again.  We all got together at one location on the server and hosted her funeral and memorial with her entire real life family in attendance.  Her grown daughter thanked us at the end and told her that she never really understood what her mother had seen in this game until that moment.

as SotL has outlined very well on the community, allow me to share a story about a community that did do as he said, and the current aftermath. this was probably 8 years ago now, i joined a site that was dedicated at making PSP homebrew. that site's community was absolutely amazing, mods were fun, people enjoyed talking, having fun, etc. for nearly 5 years this went on, many of the core members had stuck it out each day, and talked/hung out. sadly, over the years, the scene had begun to fade away, the psp wasn't as popular as it once was, so we were greeted less and less by new people. less new people, and other members slowly fading away left the site with only it's core members(probably 30-40 of us). the mods were also getting sick and tired of dealing with the owners, the owners were only there for the ad-revenue, and didn't seem to care about actually improving the site, and nurturing the once thriving community. so, one day, the mods got together and formed a new site. alot of us migrated, some stayed at the old site, thinking we were overreacting, some simply left us all. so here we were on this brand new platform, mods had the power to improve things, etc. we got some new members over time, for about the next 2 years, things continued like always. eventually though, we knew we were being stagnant, the site's gaming focus didn't really take off like the mods had hoped, the community was still very tight-knit, but we weren't really getting any new people to join. one of the mods was running a site of there own, it had pretty much no community any more, but it's front page hits were very high. so the mods got together, and deceided to pool the resources, our community, with his site might bring in a refreshing new pool of members. This worked early on, but over the last couple years, pretty much all the core members have vanished as well. i still pop in about once a week now, but it's pretty sad to think we went from this massive community, down to...well nothing. So what i'm trying to say is that yes you can have a tight-knit community survive these things if handled right. well that community stick around forever though? who-knows.

As SotL pointed out, this type of thing happens in alot of games with strong social interactions. I can't even imagine the shitstorm that well come when blizzard drops WoW, I imagine alot of close relationships have been formed in that game.
 

I am one of the VIP members who is getting ripped off in this deal.  The membership is a monthly charge.  I understand business and realize that like all things in life, this costs money to keep it going so I figured it was my fair share to pay to play.  However, the agreement on that is we pay a certain fee, we get 20 yocash a week and 2 new hair styles per month on average (that's 18-20 yocash each).  There have been no new releases in the last few months and though I have gotten my weekly yocash, I have not received all the hair I was promised.  When the glitches started, and the events tab broke, and this was shut down, and that was broken, etc., we started all asking on the forum for some honest answers about what was going on with the game and if it was on its way out or what.  WE WERE ASSURED THAT THEY HAD GOOD NEWS!!!!  YOVILLE IS HERE TO STAY!!!!!!!!!!!  So we continued to pay our monthly premiums, and yesterday got the blaring news that we've been paying to keep a game going that they are closing.  
 
Even worse, they want to do something "special" to their loyal Yoville players so they are offering us "special packages" on 3 of their other games.  These are games I would NEVER play.  Ironically, I am forced to pay for my yocash through facebook credits, yet they aren't refunding through those same credits.  They're keeping the money and hoping I'll take up poker.  No thanks.  If I'm gonna play poker, I'm gonna be sitting at the table with a nice bunch of guys, sipping a cold one and I may even have a cigar!!!


That is pretty shitty of the devs to leading you guys on like that, and their might even be some legal recourse in that they kept you paying with blatant lies about the continuation of the game. However i still stand by my opinion that a devs shouldn't be forced to continue maintaining something indefinitely.

Edited by slicer4ever, 11 January 2014 - 09:20 AM.

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#17 Save Yoville   Members   -  Reputation: 111

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 09:57 AM

wow! 

someone just posted a link to your article on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SaveYoville  

 

Thank you for helping get this issue out there!yoville love.PNG

 

We have been dealing with Zynga giving up on us Yovillian's for months now- and yet- the players are still supportive of this game- we aren't ready to give up! We have been told repeatedly from Zynga that "Yoville is here to stay"- yet it is clear, as this fiscal year winds up, that the bottom line with Zynga remains to be the almighty dollar dry.png

 

I too am a "die hard fan"- I have played for almost 5 years. I am one of the thousands of players who has pumped cash into this game thru the purchase of Yocash- (our currency on the game) Yoville changed my life- I have come to find one of the most supportive Communites on the Internet on this game!  Our players have supported Zynga financially- out of love for this little game- and it's saddens, angers and sickens us that Zynga is pulling the plug!

 

Our players have numerous Trade, Fan and Support pages through out Facebook; We have weddings, funerals, pageant's, drunken brawls, Religious ceremonies.... all of it- located in our little pixel world... We have heart because we <3 Yoville!

 

 If you're on Facebook- feel free to drop by our page- we are doing what we can to #saveyoville  

 

 



#18 Save Yoville   Members   -  Reputation: 111

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 10:03 AM

 

YoVilles customer base is unique, many "die hards" NEED yoville as a social outlet whether they are shut ins, paraplegic, deaf,  or have that catfush tendency Yoville is one of a few remaining places where physical attrributes are ignored, individual obscurity accepted and the avatars that care and look after each other,  Its the best place for dynamic, toon-face drama!

 

 I've heard the same arguments from when they unplugged Habbo Hotel 2 yeas ago ...

 

 If people have a "need" ( addiction ) for virtual socialization, Second Life is still alive and kicking.

 

not to put down Second Life- I am sure it's a wonderful game- but to be honest- I've tried that game- I got so frustrated trying to play and use the player, that all I wound up doing- was making it fly up and smashing it into t he ground....  Yoville is the best social game on FB- and that is a fact! It is open to all ages, we welcome all players- regardless of their age, race or socio-economic back ground... #saveyoville



#19 YoHoney   Members   -  Reputation: 101

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 10:54 AM

Skeletons in the closet; we know the dirty little secret and must address the huge elephant in the room.

 

Yoville has a dirty little secret that requires constant dev intervention.  It has a very active underground with several groups/families/gangs that exploit the system.  They can create in game currency and items and have saturated the in-game market, as it has a very active trade community.  In the Yoville world there are many items that were released for short periods of time (or un-released but leaked into the game) and these are often targeted as they can sell for very high amounts.  So these “people” take it a step further and sell the coins or items for real money through PayPal (or similar outlet), further bleeding the game.  Then when they get angry they run around and disconnect other players or steal their items.  Over the years there were development tools that were “leaked” out and they have been reverse engineered and further developed and can cause havoc.  So yes, that is a huge security concern that Zynga has been unable to deal with.

 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, to further complicate matters, this is an unmoderated virtual world that is pretty divided between the elite and the noob.  Some of these people get downright nasty and it can be quite embarrassing to see what some will say or do when hiding behind a virtual mask.

 

If it is taken over, it will need some work by people that have time and understanding of the issues.  If they are not willing to do that, then let it go in peace and these people can find another outlet that is run properly.


Edited by YoHoney, 11 January 2014 - 10:56 AM.


#20 Dream Cutter   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 204

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 02:39 PM

Skeletons in the closet; we know the dirty little secret and must address the huge elephant in the room.

 

Yoville has a dirty little secret that requires constant dev intervention.  It has a very active underground with several groups/families/gangs that exploit the system.  They can create in game currency and items and have saturated the in-game market, as it has a very active trade community.  In the Yoville world there are many items that were released for short periods of time (or un-released but leaked into the game) and these are often targeted as they can sell for very high amounts.  So these “people” take it a step further and sell the coins or items for real money through PayPal (or similar outlet), further bleeding the game.  Then when they get angry they run around and disconnect other players or steal their items.  Over the years there were development tools that were “leaked” out and they have been reverse engineered and further developed and can cause havoc.  So yes, that is a huge security concern that Zynga has been unable to deal with.

 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, to further complicate matters, this is an unmoderated virtual world that is pretty divided between the elite and the noob.  Some of these people get downright nasty and it can be quite embarrassing to see what some will say or do when hiding behind a virtual mask.

 

If it is taken over, it will need some work by people that have time and understanding of the issues.  If they are not willing to do that, then let it go in peace and these people can find another outlet that is run properly.

 

Skeletons in the closet; we know the dirty little secret and must address the huge elephant in the room.

 

Yoville has a dirty little secret that requires constant dev intervention.  It has a very active underground with several groups/families/gangs that exploit the system.  They can create in game currency and items and have saturated the in-game market, as it has a very active trade community.  In the Yoville world there are many items that were released for short periods of time (or un-released but leaked into the game) and these are often targeted as they can sell for very high amounts.  So these “people” take it a step further and sell the coins or items for real money through PayPal (or similar outlet), further bleeding the game.  Then when they get angry they run around and disconnect other players or steal their items.  Over the years there were development tools that were “leaked” out and they have been reverse engineered and further developed and can cause havoc.  So yes, that is a huge security concern that Zynga has been unable to deal with.

 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, to further complicate matters, this is an unmoderated virtual world that is pretty divided between the elite and the noob.  Some of these people get downright nasty and it can be quite embarrassing to see what some will say or do when hiding behind a virtual mask.

 

If it is taken over, it will need some work by people that have time and understanding of the issues.  If they are not willing to do that, then let it go in peace and these people can find another outlet that is run properly.

That was very revealing and insightful.  Thanks for sharing as many are not aware of the organization and level of sophistication of the hacks. I assumed peeps were just monkeying around with URL's to get relatively benign results.  Sounds like a lot more than that was going on.


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