Zynga shutters 11 games, cites cost-reduction plan

PetVille

Only a year ago casual games publisher Zynga seemed poised to overtake the entirety of gaming. Its massively successful line of games, though arguably created purely to drive profitability and hook players with purposefully addictive gameplay mechanisms, had become a huge hit among lesser-served portions of the gaming audience, and the company was absorbing and regurgitating game concepts as fast as its employees could move.

Unfortunately, the past few months have seen Zynga on the verge of collapse. In November, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus outlined a plan to close down a number of the company’s older, less valuable games in an effort to shift the extant resources currently keeping those titles afloat to its other, more profitable games. This plan has been slowly unfolding over the course of the past month, and as TechCrunch points out the company has settled on 11 of its casual titles, all of which have either been shut down completely, removed from the app store or made unavailable to new players.

Have a look at the full list:

PetVille – Shut down December 30th
Mafia Wars 2 – Shut down December 30th
FishVille – Shut down December 5th
Vampire Wars – Shut down December 5th
Treasure Isle – Shut down December 5th
Indiana Jones Adventure World – Closed to new players, shuts down January 14th
Mafia Wars Shakedown – Pulled from app stores
Forestville – Pulled from app stores
Montopia – Shut down December 21st
Mojitomo – Pulled from app stores
Word Scramble Challenge – Pulled from app stores

As one would expect, given Zynga’s efforts to utterly enthrall players with their games, fans of these games — particularly those that have been playing for an extended period of time — are upset. “Please don’t remove petville. I been playing for 4 yrs. and I’M going to miss my pet Jaime….why do you want cause depression for me and others. Why do you want to kill my pet?” reads one comment found on the PetVille shutdown notice.

As you might notice from the end of that Facebook post, Zynga is hoping to assuage player anger by offering “a one-time, complimentary bonus package in one of either Castleville, or Chefville, or Farmville 2, or Mafia Wars or Yoville.” Casual gamers do enjoy other casual games, so we can see this gift working for some distraught Zynga fans, but it certainly won’t make up for the dozens (or hundreds) of hours other players have spent (and, now, seemingly wasted) on the casual titles Zynga has just shut down. This move may allow Zynga to reallocate resources and streamline its business model to maximize profitability — money is the ultimate goal here, after all — but it remains to be seen if it can recoup the good will lost by abandoning some of its most devoted players in this fashion.

Gaming

‘Fortnite’ removes the Infinity Blade weapon after player backlash

Following player backlash over the Infinity Blade weapon's inclusion in Fortnite's battle royale mode, Epic Games decided to remove the weapon from the game completely. It was not limited to a special mode.
Gaming

Trash at 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Use this guide to train up and get good

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here's what you need to know when you're starting.
Gaming

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Gaming

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.
Gaming

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.
Gaming

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.
Gaming

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.
Gaming

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.
Gaming

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.
Deals

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.
Gaming

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ update 7.10 brings a rotating selection of modes big and small

The latest update for Fortnite introduces 14 Days of Fortnite, an event that brings back large and small battle royale modes as well as brand new ones to enjoy during the holiday season.
Gaming

New Xbox consoles are reportedly code-named ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Lockhart’

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox plans reportedly consist of two separate consoles. One, called "Lockhart," is a more affordable machine, while "Anaconda" is designed with more horsepower.