I would have been more surprised if a judge had upheld a ruling stating that zynga had to keep the service going. as it stands, this is just buisness.
That would have surprised me and I am glad thats not what happened. I think this is the best outcome. The free market prevailed and the customers of the game proved they are still have gold in their mine (wallets) and its worth extracting. What would have not supprised me if a class action were brought forward on behalf of the consumers who would hae lost access to thier digital assets that resulted in some type of compensation for damages. Only lawyers would win in that case and consumers would be left with a near worthless Zynga money game card. Zynga has moved into real money gambling nowdays.
I think the value in this lesson of interest to GAMDEV readers is a real fairy-tale. Almost like Aesop -In that as a indy game designer, if creative, compelling and open ended your creation may foster a dedicated society of its own. Even if sold to a major distributor and no matter who mangled the publisher positions it to take advantage of consumers to maximum effect - if the concept is unique and endeared by the base, it will out last the publisher and may actually come back home. I think there are other examples before Yoville, but it has got to be the largest so far.