FarmVille is losing players at a phenomenal pace, from 83 million in May to 62 million users today. And between June 13 and July 13, the game has lost an additional 3.7 million users. What can be done to turn the tide back?

Our friends at Frisky Mongoose has some possible answers

  • Give away free things. In the words of Gordon Gecko from Wall Street, free is good (or is that greed?) Same difference.
  • Discount farm cash.
  • Loosen up neighbor requirements. Many of the cool features of FarmVille require lots of neighbors making it boring for newbies. Show cooler stuff in the beginning.
  • Speed up leveling up. Compared to successful social games like Social City, FarmVille is just slow.

All good suggestions, Frisky Mongoose! For the details go to Frisky’s original article.

My take: FarmVille is the most data-driven game of all time. This has been an advantage in the past when the game was growing but I wonder if it makes it harder for the game’s producers to make risky design changes that can stop the slide in traffic. Even as the game drops in traffic, it continues to grow in revenues. Zynga is in a quandary: They need to make radical game design decisions to stop the drop in game usage, but doing so may drop the game’s growing revenues, which are directly tied to the company’s bottom line and prestige. None of the deals Zynga does with iPhone, Green Giant, 7-11, anything, happens without FarmVille.

At some point, however, they have to risk it all. No matter how good Zynga is at monetizing its games, drops in traffic will inevitably hit the game’s bottom line. Zynga’s success right now rises and falls with FarmVille. Maybe they should follow the advice from Frisky Mongoose.