FarmVille is an online browser game, available on Facebook and developed by Zynga, a software house in California. It reached 13.4 million daily users and a total of 82.7 million active users per month and 29,321,000 fans becoming the most popular Facebook application. FarmVille originated as a copy of the game Farm Town already popular on Facebook. On February 4, 2010 Microsoft launched Farmville on its MSN Games website.
It is a game that simulates the life of a farmer, allowing players to plant, grow and collect plants and trees as well as virtual animals to breed. It has been so successful that in the summer of 2012, FarmVille 2 was launched. Initially, all of the game components (trees, animals and buildings) could be purchased with the coins earned from the game. In July 2009 Zynga added new components (eg. Decorations), which can be bought only with Farm Cash, which can be earned by leveling up or bought with real money (credit card or business partners services from Zynga). There are 999 levels in the game.
But when you receive a gift from the menu at the bottom where there is shown a package it opens the box containing the gifts received and inserted in the farm. The gifts are free, so giving gifts involves only gain to the receiver, which will own an object without having purchased it. The exchange of gifts is therefore a mutual agreement between the players to get to the possession of multiple objects without paying for them, or even objects not sold. Farmville uses aspects of social networking of Facebook. Players can invite their friends to become neighbors, allowing them to earn money and experience points (visiting and helping friends in their farms).
Animals can be bought, donated by neighbors or adopted. Each animal is characterized by the cost concerning the possible purchase, the type of products, from production time, from the achievable gain and the level needed to be able to buy or give such animal. Each culture is characterized by the plant cost, which generates experience for the player, from the maturation time, from the achievable gain and three levels of mastery. From 22 October 2009 flowers can be cultivated.
Fruit trees can be purchased or donated by neighbors or both options for some of them. Each shaft is characterized by the cost of the plant, from the time of maturation, the gain achievable and the level needed to be able to buy or give this shaft. The ribbons are tapes that are assigned to achieve various objectives. For each objective are assigned four ribbons of different colors like yellow, white, red and blue. For each rosette obtained receive a cash reward, experience points, or gifts. When you get a rosette you are given the opportunity to publish the news in your Facebook homepage, making it possible for friends/neighbors faster to get a bonus.
Generally FarmVille gives its users virtual money to underwrite many offers advertised. For example, it gives the virtual money for registering on Netflix. In some cases FarmVille has been accused of operating scams with misleading offers, such as fake surveys or tests of intelligence that led to the signing of paid services not desired. In a video published on November 9 2009, Mark Brags (founder of Zynga) illustrating the company's business practices, said: I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this toolbar zwinky which was like, I don't know, I downloaded it once and could not get rid of it.
Michael Arrington of TechCrunch accused Facebook of allowing Zynga to continue with this conduct because so much of the money generated is reinvested by Zynga as advertising on the Facebook platform. Because of this bad publicity Zynga has removed all the play money offers from 8 November 2009, and when you can increase the virtual money only through direct payments.