The original FarmVille is about to become a dust bowl, 11 years after it first became a social media gaming sensation. Zynga announced Monday that the original FarmVille game will be officially kaput as of the end of 2020, Ars Technica reports. "Adobe will stop distributing and updating Flash Player for all web browsers, and Facebook will stop supporting Flash games on the platform completely after December 31st, 2020," the company said in a statement. "FarmVille will therefore be directly affected as a result of this." Zynga said in-app purchases will be available until Nov. 17, " at which point the game’s payment system will be completely turned off."
FarmVille, in which users grew crops in virtual farms with the help of "neighbors" and in-game purchases, was a runaway hit in its early days, with an estimated 73 million monthly users six months after its launch in 2009. Its popularity soon faded, but numerous imitators and sequels remain. "We look forward to you joining us in Farmville 2: Tropic Escape, Farmville 2: Country Escape and the upcoming worldwide launch of FarmVille 3 on mobile," Zynga said Monday. Matthew Gault at Vice notes that the game's legacy of "pay-to-win and microtransactions" in mobile games lives on. "Every time you’re playing a game you enjoy on mobile and it asks you to spend some money to overcome an obstacle, that's FarmVille," he writes. "Every time a child drains their parents bank account for in-game goodies, that's FarmVille." (Read more Farmville stories.)