Now that FarmVille has completely overrun Facebook, with an estimated 75 million players, the casual game is expanding to Microsoft’s gaming page, MSN games. This is the first step in Zynga’s, FarmVille’s creator, plans to try and expose the audience of MSN games and Windows Live Messenger to the popular farming game. Though it’s broadening its horizons, the game will remain hosted on Facebook and will continue to require a Facebook membership to play.
Will the game be as successful away from the built-in audience of the social networking hub? Time will tell, but judging by the game’s huge growth in under a year, I doubt this is the last time FarmVille will be plowing new fields.
Personally, I’ve managed to resist the constant deluge of requests by friends to join them in their farming adventures. I have some ethical concerns about Zynga. More importantly, Facebook already consumes enough of my time, I’m not going to spend anymore of it taking care of imaginary crops and livestock. Though I have a sneaking suspicion that when the classic turn-based-strategy game Civilization hits Facebook this summer my resistance will be short-lived.