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Zynga decides to shut down YoVille; YoVille players threaten to boycott

YoVille protest and rally on October 25, 2013; 'Keep our game'
YoVille protest and rally on October 25, 2013; 'Keep our game'YouTube by Barbara Sylvane

Zynga announced to its players that they are shutting down its popular game YoVille by the end of March, according to VentureBeat.com on Jan. 12.

YoVille was acquired by the social game services provider Zynga in 2008 and has become one of Zynga's oldest and most successful browser-based virtual world games.

YoVille is only one of the many "Ville" games now owned by Zynga and is a social, casual game that people play on Facebook.

Members can create virtual people and homes, decorate their virtual apartments, change their virtual clothing and work in the YoVille factory for virtual coins.

YoVille players can also purchase "YoCoins" and "YoCash" using real world money. The cost of 50 "YoCash" is $10 and can be used in the game to buy virtual YoVille items.

Players also make new friends and meet new people from around the world in YoVille's virtual community. Players have the option to add friends from Facebook to their YoVille buddy list and then visit other players' homes.

Some of YoVille's long-time dedicated players did not take Zynga's announcement of the game's shutdown lightly. There are currently more than 5000 signatures on a campaign to save YoVille.

"YoVillians" are also threatening to boycott all of Zynga's social games if YoVille isn't saved, saying "Sell the game to another company if you have no interest in maintaining it, but do not just pull the plug."

If you do, you will lose us completely as customers.

Zynga told its players that they were not shutting the game down in December 2012. However, Zynga is reportedly having a difficult time transitioning the Facebook web browser games to mobile releases on Android and iOS.

Zynga has already lost many YoVille players due to low maintenance and repairs, and has cut its work force considerably from decline of its Facebook audience.

Players said they have remained loyal to YoVille and have paid the monthly VIP membership cost because of Zynga's promise they would not shut down the game.

In a statement released from Zynga, the company said by shutting down YoVille, they "can put more time and energy into developing new games" for their players.

Zynga also went on to say that "over the years, YoVille developed a truly passionate community, and we thank our players for their dedication to the game".

Zynga is offering to give its YoVille players virtual gifts that they can use in other Zynga games in exchange for any virtual goods players have already purchased for YoVille.