When Zynga's FarmVille hit 80 million players on year ago in February 2010' it was a breathtaking event for the entire games industry. The title had brought millions of new players into the market' many of whom had never played games of any sort before. And it encouraged a new generation of Facebook games' fueled by capital from excited investors and developers who would try to emulate its breakout success.
For Zynga' the success of FarmVille was exciting for sure. But it was also a ticking time-bomb. Suddenly' FarmVille had amassed millions of players who were farming their crops' building their buildings' and slowly leveling up through the game very quickly.
But for how long?
Many of these were players who had never been so involved in a game before. What were they going to be doing a few months from now? A year from now?
There were a few possible answers to this question. First' the 80 million could quit playing social games entirely. After all' they hadn't been avid gamers before. After enjoying more than their fair share of wheat and pumpkins' they might just go back to where they came from: television' film' books' and other forms of entertainment.
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