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Dream Cutter

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

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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

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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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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?

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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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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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>>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

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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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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.

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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

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