While they’ve been king of the Facebook hill for quite some time now, Zynga hasn’t forgotten where their success started. The social farming simulator that could, FarmVille topped more than 80 million monthly active users as its peak, and has seen countless expansions and tie-ins ever since. It should come as little shock, then, that the big Z are looking to repeat their success with FarmVille 2 – at least if the rumors are to be believed.
News broke this morning when MCV reported on the discovery of a resume for one Alex Harvey. Alex is a copywriter that had worked with Isobar, a communications firm that counts Zynga as one of their many clients. Mr. Harvey claimed that he was involved in a successful pitch for FarmVille 2, and considering the work history on his CV, it would have been sometime between January 2011 and February 2012.
As you can probably guess, any mention of this has since been removed from Harvey’s curriculum vitae.
My gut reaction is that Harvey may not have understood that an expansion like ‘Lighthouse Cove’ or ‘English Countryside’ isn’t the same thing as a sequel. But then the speculative part of my brain kicked in, and the more I thought about it, the more a proper sequel to FarmVille made a lot of sense.
At one time FarmVille hit nearly 84 million monthly active users. Today that number has dropped to 26 million. It’s still the kind of number that other developers dream about (even Angry Birds on Facebok only has 22.7 million MAU), but its miles from where it once was. Maybe a full on reboot is just what the franchise needs – FarmVille for today’s Facebook gamers. The social scene has changed a lot since FarmVille‘s 2009 debut, and a new game that takes that new landscape into consideration could do huge numbers.
It’s also not like Zynga’s averse to doing sequels. Mafia Wars 2 rethought their social mob formula to meet 2011’s demands – so why not do the same with FarmVille in 2012?
Of course this is just one in an endless series of rumors about what Zynga might be working on behind closed doors, and like all rumors, should be taken with a grain of salt. Lately we’ve been hearing everything from rumors of a new cooking game to talk of high seas adventure in a new game called either Pirate Island or Rogues & Royals – but as of yet, none of these games have actually materialized. Still, that said, Zynga’s a big enough company to easily be working on all of these games in secret, and maybe a dozen more.
Whether the rumor proves true or not, FarmVille 2 would make a lot of sense. Then again, so would localizing Montopia. Come on, Zynga – forget the farms for a minute and give me my pocket monsters!!