• FarmVille Coming to iPhone and iPad

    FarmVille, the addictive (to some) and annoying (to non-farmers) social networking game that has won so many adherents and haters on Facebook may soon be coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Android platforms. The hint of this development was uncovered by a Tumblr blogger, who noticed domains like farmvilleiphone.com and farmvilleandroid.com have been registered by the same company that owns farmville.com. Spokespeople for Zynga, the company behind games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, have said that they are interested in porting the games to mobile platforms, but have been vague about the timing.

    In the Facebook application FarmVille, you set up a farm and manage it by raising crops and taking care of farm animals. FarmVille launched in June of last year and quickly became the most popular game on Facebook, currently with over 82.4 million players, representing 20% of all Facebook users. The rapid growth in players, combined with some changes to how Facebook handles friend updates, subjected many non-players to an avalanche of FarmVille updates before they figured out how to block them.

    Zynga chief executive Mark Pincus told a panel at Facebook's F8 conference last week that they had an intention to develop an iPhone version of the game. "We remain really interested in the iPhone,” Pincus said, and indicated that he and the rest of the Zynga team were "big believers that all this will eventually go predominantly mobile. The "question of when,” he added, had to do with the limitation of the iPhone as a social gaming platform. "We haven’t seen easy enough user-to-user channels to enable a service to exist,” Pincus said, but suggested that the company would be closely watching Apple’s Game Center network.

    FarmVille had a very dedicated player base, and a highly profitable secondary market. It's so addictive, in fact, that it has caused problems in the real world: a woman in the UK discovered last month that her son had spent more than £900 on FarmVille, taking £288 out of his own savings account and charging an additional £625 on her credit card.
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