Update: FarmVille $5.99 subscription fee [not] coming soon
Almost 90% of the 700 people who voted in our poll said they would not pay to play FarmVille, so many virtual farmers will probably be breathing a sigh of relief.
The idea of a subscription model of some sort is still not that unthinkable, maybe as another version of the game where all of the premium items are unlocked, would appeal to those who are already spending big bucks in the game.
Rumors that FarmVille will soon charge players a monthly subscription to play have been popping up for some time, and today, we discovered more detailed information on a new pay-to-play version of the Facebook farming game.
Fan site FarmVille Freak reports that one player sent an email with the following information: "Zynga has announced that as of March 31, 2010, FarmVille will no longer be available in its Beta version. The game will be available for a subscription fee of $5.99 per month and will include additional levels above 70..."
There's no extra info on where the player found these juicy tidbtis, but it does seem to fall in line with other things we've heard around the virtual water cooler.
Adding a required monthly fee would be an interesting development, since it would certainly test the loyalty of the 75+ million active users out there. Even if they lose a good chunk of their audience, they may still stand to gain from the few who stick around, paying a guaranteed $6 a month. This is especially important since it's also rumored that Zynga needs to raise more money in order to go public sometime this year.
All of this subscription talk also comes on the heels of several revealing surveys that show while players, (mostly middle-aged women who are 'obsessed' with the game) sink hours into the game every week, they are not necessarily willing to shell out real-life cash to pay for premium virtual items. One survey also reports that as soon as these games are no longer free, a majority of these otherwise devoted players will say sayonara and move on to another free playable Web game.