FarmVille Loses 4.4 Million Players – Are More on Their Way Out?

Tue, May 4, 2010

Facebook, FarmVille, Social

Last month, the largest Facebook game, FarmVille, lost more than just a few players, as 4.4 million users decided, for one reason or another, to call it quits. Inside Social Games has all of the data associated with the loss, and claims that the most likely reason players stopped playing FarmVille (or any of the 14 games that saw losses) was due to Facebook’s removal of third-party notifications from the platform, meaning that all gift requests and notifications had to be handled through the game’s page proper, or through emails.

This is a likely excuse, but many games have also seen major performance issues, including the main game in question, FarmVille. Could long-time users simply be fed up by the (seemingly) increasingly frequent down-times seen by these games, so much so that they decide to leave the game? There’s a forthcoming change that will most likely answer this question, as Facebook works to remove gift requests from the network as well (we’ve seen Zynga acknowledge this with the arrival of the Zynga Messaging Center in their games).

If downtime is the culprit behind player numbers dropping, this change should have little noticeable effect; conversely, if it’s the lack of this readily available, instant communication that changes players’ minds, the virtual closing off of all Facebook games (meaning that all game news will have to come from first-hand sources, and not through a Facebook driven process) should see users flocking to play either less complex games or not at all. brings up another valid point with FarmVille’s decline in users – perhaps it and the other games that suffered losses last month are simply suffering from gamer fatigue, or are becoming the victim of the many new titles being released on the site, including Zynga’s own Treasure Isle, which has rocketed to the number five spot on the app charts, with more than 25 million monthly active players. Other examples are Hotel City and Social City, from Playfish and Playdom, which are perched at spots 14 and 15 on the charts, respectively. Each have more than 12 million monthly active players, as of last month’s figures.

Before you fear for FarmVille’s survival, this 4.4 million player loss did little to affect the overall state of the game as the number one Facebook application, as it has retained 78 million monthly active users. The nearest competitor in terms of games is Cafe World, another Zynga title, in fourth place with over 26 million players.

Do you have your own thoughts on why gamers might be quitting these games? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, through the comments section below.

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Related posts:

  1. FarmVille Loses 7.7 Million Players in the Month of May
  2. FarmVille Reaches 32 Million Daily Players
  3. FrontierVille Wrangles Five Million Players in Two Weeks
  4. Digital Chocolate Reaches One Million Players on Facebook
  5. Zynga’s Treasure Isle Gains 3 Million Players in Five Days

This post was written by:

- who has written 2533 posts on Frisky Mongoose.

Brandy is the Social Editor at Frisky Mongoose, focusing on the social side of the gaming world.

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  • Leona

    I think it has nothing to do with fatigue, boredom or otherwise. I am on my second day of being unable to access my Farmvlille site. For the past several weeks we have experienced various problems with the site that I put up with, reluctantly. I kept faith thinking they were making changes for the better. But, the changes that we saw were not for the better and has now culminated into having no Farmville usage whatsoever. I am getting no feed on the homepage about Farmville and no posts from Zynga as to what the problem is. I also have gotten no email response from my inquiries to them. I can see no other reason why people would abandon a game. I have a credit balance in there which includes my own cash. I think it is criminal for them to keep that. So, although this response is disjointed, you can see that I am less than happy and may, for the first time, consider leaving Facebook and Farmville all together. This is just not a satisfactory situation for me.

  • Kate Hancock

    I also get easily frustrated by loading issues and bugs with Facebook games
    that should it seems (with what limited technical knowledge I know) be
    fairly light Flash applications that don't require your computer's entire
    capacity just to play. Plus if you miss a day or two, you have so much
    “catching-up” to do (and usually fines to pay or messes to clean on top of
    regular tasks), that the game doesn't seem much fun anymore. I think you
    make some really good points here – thanks for the comment. One question
    though, would your issues with FarmVille really make you want to leave
    Facebook entirely? It's interesting that this social network has become more
    of a gaming platform for some. Crappy load issues in one or two games won't
    make me leave Facebook – just those games :)

  • Jack

    People are leaving Farmville because the programming is so poor, that you can’t play the game anymore. They are adding more and more clicks to the game, and the performance is slow and not user friendly. A lot of my neighbors are quitting the game because farmville just doesn’t work. It has too many problems.

  • Alexia Nielsen

    I haven't officially “quit” yet, but it's been over 2 weeks since I logged into Farmville, precisely for the lag reasons. Social games need to be quick and fun, and I was spending a lot of time waiting for it to load – both the entire game, and then my farm once I was in. It's made especially bad by the requirement that you accept a gift and then wait for the game to load. With 30+ gift requests a day, that's a lot of time! Hopefully the in-game message center will fix some of that, but in the meantime, I'm going to try to cut down on my time spent on Facebook.

  • Obaidul Rashed

    I am a Farmville play level 51 from Bangladesh. But Bangladesh blocked facebook from 30 May. So like me my friends also out of this game.

  • Rosepetal1948

    Farmville is becoming more and more frustrating. Freezes ALL the time. I don,t get coins I,m supposed to get. Don,t get MUCH of the gifts I KNOW should be there.I LOSE animals. ESPECIALLY the adopted ones.
    I,m considering LEAVING the game, as I know many others are also.

  • No more.

    It's becoming too complicated, and too annoying. Constant pop ups, constant harassment to get you to try to get friends who don't play to start playing.

    The people who want to play this game are already playing. Everyone else wants to be left alone. Take a look around at how many “I don't care about your farm” groups are popping up on Facebook. People are flat out sick of the daily flood of Farmville invading every damn thing they do on Facebook.

  • hum

    The game is so buggy it is very difficult to stay