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Laundry List of things that don't work right in FarmVille

by John Brown - Jul 21, 2010 Star_s4,027 views

Open letter to Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga.  Thought you guys might get a kick out of it.
 
Hi, Mark!
It's me again.  I know I promised to give you a little time to get your act together at Zynga, but I really didn't mean for you to take care of all those laundry list items and screw up FarmVille at the same time.  That's a joke, by the way, because the silence coming from Zynga on ALL of these issues is all we get from you.
Let's review, shall we?

You rolled out the long-awaited Farmer's Market.  Millions could not access their farms for a week, and when they finally got into their farms, the sound of that awful theme song for FarmVille was drowned out by a collective, worldwide yawn.

We get what out of that exactly?  A few XP? Some gas? There hasn't been a bigger disappointment since Geraldo opened Al Capone's safe.

You rolled out the ability for players to wrangle a Mustang, in an effort to get email addresses from folks.  Naturally, that didn't work so well, either, so you said you were disabling it while you worked on a fix.  That was months ago, no?  Still no fix?  Just how complicated can it be to have an event generate an email?

You rolled out the Tuscan Wedding...that was last November or something, wasn't it?  I know people who have actually fallen in love, planned HUGE weddings, gone on their honeymoon and come home in less time than you've had all these minions sending me olives, eggs, truffles and goats milk.  (What's the deal with this, anyway?  Did you get threatened by someone in Tuscany if you made it a reasonable duration?)  

As you know, millions of people could not use the Wedding Tent feature for the longest time.  Now that we can, we're done.  I mean seriously done.  I'm to the point now where I can't even LOOK at an egg in real life without becoming annoyed.  Enough already.  Would it be possible to KILL this feature without screwing up other things?  If so, why don't you just run along and take care of that for me, willya?

You rolled out pregnant pigs and piglets, in an effort to lure in new players.  Millions could not access their farms for a week, so you shut it down to fix it.  Now some rocket scientist who draws a paycheck from you (correction, from ME and millions like ME) decided to re-enable that feature, and guess what?  Not only does it still not work properly, but it's caused problems for millions. Again.
You tried to reintroduce the Black Stallion after one of your idiot children accidentally put them in the Marketplace for 40,000 coins.  Not what you expected, was it?  So what did you do?  You killed off ALL stallions and breeding while you were going to 'fix' it.  Guess what?  It's still not fixed. People are generating foals but not being paid for their hard work.  No coins, no XP, no nothing. Again, another 'feature' that you've introduced in a very half-assed manner, and one that does not work properly at all.

Mark, do you see a pattern here?  I sure do, and guess what?  I'm not done yet. You rolled out the iPhone app.  Great idea.  The demo of it was awesome.  Sadly we now know that the demo was conducted on a server that had ONE farm on it instead of the thousands that are normally on a server.  Many of us were able to load our farm ONCE.  Millions cannot get the app to work at all, despite two updates.  

Lest we forget, it was those White Apple trees that caused millions of us to go Out of Sync for days. I'm not sure that part of it is fixed yet, because like millions of my fellow farmers, I still can't get the crappy application to load my farm.

You killed the Zynga Message Center. Why? Because it was too easy for us to collect and return gifts? No, because we all figured out that we could use it to accept those White Apple Trees of Death.  Mark, I know you people know how to do a message center/gift exchange.  The one in YoVille works pretty well when it shows up.  The one in Zynga Poker is epic.  Not only does it take fewer clicks to accept and return chips, but the thing is SMART enough to know when I've reached my limit, and instead of burning that last request that would've put me over my limit, it just tells me to try again tomorrow and saves it.  Why in the world can't you people just pull whoever created it and get them to work on the FarmVille part?

You rolled out the 'Lightning Collections', without so much as a word or an explanation as to the purpose, and, of course, problems crept up with millions of farms as a result.  Again.You rolled out Beehives.  The instructions you gave were pretty decent (yep, credit where credit is due), but you still really haven't explained the purpose of these, nor have you demonstrated at all WHY we should even participate in this fiasco.  

The one thing I know about beehives is this:  Having a beehive means I now have to tend my farm every other day or I will lose all the work it took to gather the bees.  You know what that means to me?  That means that the Unwither Ring you sold me is basically worthless now.  I bought that ring so that I could leave my farm for a week if I wanted to, and come back to it just like I left it.  Now if I go on a 3 day vacation, I'll come back and have to go gather bees to refill my hive again.
The way I see it, that gold ring is now made of tin, and the fifty bucks (those are US dollars, Mark - not the monopoly money you people toss around like paper) I spent on the Unwither Ring were an investment made in good faith, and now you've made it so it was a very pointless purchase.
Now, you're rolling out these Craft Cottages, and for what return on our effort? A little fuel? 30 coins? 10XP?  I'm not sure anybody really knows, and God knows you're not just going to come out and tell us.  It'll be left up to the many fan sites out there to figure that out and pass the word along.  Hell, I think even that schmuck from FVF may figure it out before you get around to sharing that information with us.  Oh, and by the way?  Coincidence or not, THIS feature rollout has also kept millions of us from our farms.

Zynga, once again, has demonstrated itself to be long on promises (when they communicate with us at all) and short on delivery.  

Now, please - get back to work.  No more cutesy decorations, no more markets, no more dogs that nobody can feed (one cannot feed one's dog unless one can actually get into one's farm, now can one?), no nothing until you get some of the above items actually working.
Oh, and Mark?  Just on the off-chance that you're NOT reading these....I took the liberty to copy both letters and send them, Certified Mail, to all the Venture Capital firms who have shown the poor judgment to invest in Zynga.  

I figure since Zynga isn't listening, perhaps the folks who expect profits will listen.  It's really sad when the voices of your own customers aren't enough to make you respond or perform, so maybe the guys who hold the BIG purse strings may get your attention.

Love and kisses,
John Brown

PS - I cannot wait - I mean I am literally counting the days - until you decide to take the company public.  You'll recognize me, I'll be the one at the very first Shareholder meeting, asking these same questions and demanding that the Board of Directors put you permanently Out of Sync.

Replies (73)

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Kb Fitz - Jul 23, 2010

You forgot about the Botanical garden. But so did Zynga, so I guess that's a wash.

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