Farmville is the most popular application on Facebook. With over 70 million monthly active users, more people are playing Farmville than using Twitter. I think Twitter should fold before everybody realizes that the whole tweeting thing is a bigger waste of time than harvesting virtual crops. But, my unpopular opinions about Twitter really aren’t the point here.
Mark Newheiser posted a good story on just why Farmville is so popular and what elements keep people coming back for more (several times a day). I’m sure many game designers are looking at Farmville closely to see what “sticky” bits they can roll into their games.
Reading this made me realize that some people take these things way more seriously than I do:
I got roped into playing Farmville when my girlfriend insisted I needed to help her out and play with her. Together we worked up a spreadsheet to figure out what the profit per hour was for each crop in the game, which lead to some interesting results: unlike the other farming games that I’d encountered, trees and animals seemed to simply be an afterthought, they offered nowhere near the profitability of harvesting crops.
No wonder I never attained godfatherhood during my brief time on Mafia Wars.