This week Zynga announced that it would shut down the version of its YoVille game running on the social network Tagged.com, effective May 15th, 2010. The initial notification message that YoVille players on Tagged saw regarding the shutdown urged them to resume playing at YoVille.com or a site called Zlive.com, where a "Welcome Package" of virtual goods would be waiting for them.
It seems likely that Zlive.com is the intended name of the stand-alone gaming network that Zynga was previously rumored to be constructing, though Zynga does not currently own that particular domain name. The rumors state that Zynga's wants to create a back-up network that would allow the company to break away from Facebook entirely in the future. Seeing how gamers react to YoVille's closure at Tagged.com could be an important learning experience for Zynga.
References to Zlive.com and YoVille.com were later redacted from the initial closing announcement and the official blog post on the closing. Now the official site says that Tagged.com's YoVille players will be able to continue playing elsewhere with no loss of virtual goods, currency, or property. Exactly where players should go or how they'll migrate their Tagged.com YoVille accounts is not specified.
Tagged.com has integrated with the ourWorld virtual world and the payment services provider Social Gold in the past. YoVille is Zynga's only true virtual world and at one point was among the company's largest games. Currently it is Zynga's eighth-largest game on Facebook, where it has about 10 million MAU, but it is one of only three games for which Zynga sells prepaid cards.
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