Mobile and social game developer Zynga has announced the closure of YoVille, one of the longest running Facebook games on the platform. The life simulation and home decoration game has just 354,000 monthly active users (MAU) as of this writing, according to our app tracking service AppData. The app peaked in 2009 at nearly 19.9 million MAU, but has been on a fairly steady decline ever since.
When attempting to load the game, players are notified of the closure, and the official closure date of March 31, 2014. As expected, the closure announcement explains the decision as one that will allow Zynga to dedicate more resources to the development of new games.
“It has been an amazing ride, watching YoVille grow from a small group of players to a dedicated community of millions of people from all over the world. YoVille has a truly passionate community and we thank you for your continued support throughout these five years,” the statement reads.
“Looking ahead, the time has come for us to make the difficult choice to bring the YoVille party to an end on March 31. We are making the tough decision to close YoVille so we can put more time and energy into developing new games that we hope you will love as much as YoVille. Here’s to all of you who have made YoVille such a fun and unique place to play and connect with friends and family.”
YoVille players are being offered a “thank you” gift in FarmVille 2, Texas HoldEm Poker or Hit It Rich! Casino Slots, but this too must be claimed before YoVille shuts down on March 31.
While YoVille may be closing, its dedicated and passionate fan base isn’t letting the game go without a fight. Over 3,400 players (and climbing) have signed a petition, pleading with Zynga to continue supporting the game, and the game’s original creator Greg Thomson (of Big Viking Games) has been brought back into the picture.
When the YoVille closure announcement became official, the game’s community reached out to Thomson for help, and Big Viking Games responded positively on its Facebook page, saying it would be happy to “entertain the possibilities of buying [YoVille] back and operating it again.” Thomson sold YoVille to Zynga in 2008.
“YoVille first launched in 2008, and has grown into an amazing community. It would be sad to see a game that so many players love just disappear,” Thomson tells us. “Big Viking Games has been in contact with Zynga, and Zynga is currently working to see if a sale is something that is both technically and legally feasible.”
Zynga has issued a statement to Inside Social Games: “Zynga recently made the tough decision to sunset YoVille so we can put more time and energy into developing new games for our players. Over the years YoVille developed a truly passionate community, and we thank our players for their dedication to the game. We look forward to delivering new and exciting social games that we hope our players will love playing with their friends and family as much as they loved YoVille.”