Our Virtual World Yoville - The Story

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Joined: May 13th, 2014, 9:28 am
PostPosted: May 13th, 2014, 10:17 am

They say “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will want what you imagine and at last, create what you will.” This was the case for a man whose name has recently become popular among the Yoville population this man is no other than Greg Thompson of Big Viking Games.

Back in 2008, he had an idea, an idea to create a virtual world where anything was possible as long as you used your imagination. You were prompted to create a character of your own liking when you first joined the game. These unique personalization enabled millions of us to create a character to our own liking more often than not with a strong resemblance to what we looked like in real. The features were both entertaining and amusing, they ranged from blue eyes to green to brown. Up-do hairstyles to ponytails or even pigtails, it was satisfying having these features at our finger tips.

Players everywhere loved the virtual world which was created by Big Viking Games which back then was known as Tall Tree Games. Yoville was the talk of the town and captivated everyone’s interest so much so that a well-known company Zynga INC bought it from Tall Tree Games.

Yovillians as we proudly called ourselves spent countless hours in the game. We would make new friends, work at the widget factory, hang out at alton towers and look at the items in the stores that we desired and one day hoped to have. Back in 2008 and early 2009, all items in store were coins so we all worked at the factory and saved so we could be able to afford the items we wished to buy. Also, back then females were only allowed to shop in the female section and males only in the male section. If you wished to have a clothing item from another gender’s category, you would have had to ask a person of the opposite gender to purchase it for you and purchase it from them via trade.

Around Easter 2009, Zynga first introduced yocash into the game and we all stared at the ‘goodies’ we wanted to accessorize either our houses or avatars. Kids and adults alike spent hours shopping for yocash items, we were like kids in a toy store! Some players began selling the yocash items to those who were unable to afford yocash in exchange for coins. I remember my yocash dealer sold me items for 300c:1. As time passed by, more time and money was invested in yoville by the players making it one of zynga’s most profitable and popular ventures yet!

Things began to go downhill when hackers and mod users began taking over yoville and attacking innocent players. It was Mafia Wars- Yoville Edition. Gangs were formed and they went around hacking and freezing each other which resulted in many innocent players being frozen in the bunch, it was all collateral damage. Player’s pleas were ignored by zynga yet they remained faithful to yoville.

Things began changing, there was no longer an option to directly contact zynga for support unless you purchased VIP membership which many players were unable to afford so many of us were left out in the rain. Our only hope of attempting to contact player support was via twitter and a deaf ear was turned to us via this route. Many players complained of feeling left out and as if Zynga cared not for them but for their money. What was once a paradise for us soon turned into a nightmare with yocash items being vastly over-priced whereas we paid 6 yocash for a hat it was increased to 12 yocash and so on. The rates at which yocash was being sold were too high for many players to afford ranging from 15,000:1 to 50:000:1 which resulted in many players walking away because they were upset about not being able to afford their dream items.

Even those who were able to afford yocash were drowning with the speedy releases of yocash items. A new release each week barely gave us anytime to familiarize ourselves with one theme before another one was rolled out into the stores.

Then Zynga decided to add a full screen feature which was not what it claimed to be. Rather than being an actual full screen game, there was just a grey bar around the normal yoville window, this feature introduced countless bugs which Zynga’s programmers seemed unable to patch. This lead to many players walking away from the game and even more following in pursuit when Big Z re-released many high priced items which upset players and their investments. Then one of the game’s most popular features- events was disabled and the yo-economy which was already topsy-turvy and came toppling down when this happened due to the fact that it became difficult for players to buy and sell items to earn coins and decorate their houses or dress their avatars. This was followed by a lengthy period of no new releases and themes for players to indulge in which quickly resulted in many players losing interest in the game and saying goodbye.

Finally, in January 2014, Zynga announced the closure of Yoville which would take place on March 31st 2014. This was followed by worldwide protests and rallies within the game, some even threatening to boycott all Zynga games. Emotions were running high which resulted in Michael J. Cullen, creating a petition called “Keep Yoville or lose us.” Word of yoville’s closure quickly spread like wildfire among the tech community outlining the outrage, grief and disbelief of the Yoville players.

The original creators of Yoville- Big Tree Games now known as Big Viking Games heard the pleas of the Yovillians and quickly came to our aid. The creator, Mr Greg Thompson and his team at BVG began negotiations with Zynga to take over the game and keep it running for players who passionately pleaded with BVG to keep the game running. These pleas were accompanied by promises to continuously support Yoville when it entered the hands of the original creators. Finally it was announced that on May 12th BVG would take ownership of Yoville which would now be known as “YoWorld.”

This news warmed the hearts of many across the world and resulted in an out-pour of gratitude towards Big Viking Games and of course Greg Thompson. As I write this article, a mere couple hours before the grand re-opening of YoWorld, I feel like a child on Christmas Eve night, anxiously awaiting the ‘presents’ or in this case a new future for my beloved game which I now call “Yoworld.” As a five year player, I hope to see many of the old features which we depended on for the smooth running of the game returned to us for example- events and unlimited gifting to my fellow yovillians. Some of the changes I would be pleased to see are: An improved or completely abolished full screen feature, regular but not too expensive theme releases, convenient player support and overall good cheer to my fellow YoVikings! I dream of a day where yoville is restored to its former glory.

On behalf of yoville players everywhere, I would like to extend hearty thanks to Big Viking Games and Greg Thompson for their diligent work and I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome each and every one of you to “YTC News.” We would love to hear your opinions, what changes would you like to see in YoWorld’s feature? What will you call yourself now that we are no longer Yovillians? YoVikings or Yoworldians perhaps? Sound off in the comments below.


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