Sept. 5, 2012 — -- Every day more than 3.2 million people get up and tend to their farms. They plow the fields, they buy new crops, and they harvest.
Oh, we said virtual farms, right?
FarmVille has become one of Zynga's most popular online social games, and today the company is releasing a new version for digital farming addicts -- FarmVille 2. The game's premise is similar to the first one -- build a farm, maintain the farm by harvesting and adding animals, and help your friends on their farms.
But one look at the new game will reveal that it's very different. It is the first 3-D game created by Zynga, which means the avatars and farms look more realistic.
"We have made the game 3-D not because we wanted to make it 3-D for 3-D's sake. We made it 3-D because our goal from the start was to make it feel like you are in this rich world that is alive and that your friends are there with you," FarmVille product manager Wright Bagwell told ABC News.
The effects and animations in the game have also been improved -- when you mouse over your wheat crops they blow in the wind, etc.
But there's more in the game to make it feel closer to real-life farming. Beyond the usual plowing of plots, planting, harvesting and selling of crops, you now have the ability to move your crops for animal feed or use them as ingredients in the kitchen and then sell them at the farmer's roadside stand.
"This is telling the story of how a farm works," Bagwell told ABC News as he gave a demo. "In order to sell things, I am going to go to the roadside stand and sell them." Bagwell said Zynga wanted to create more of a virtual world and a "a real traditional farm story that everyone could relate to."
Unfortunately for fans of the original FarmVille, there is no way to transfer your farm from that game to the new game.
"We want people to enjoy playing both games. Those people love playing already and we are hoping they will want to play both," Bagwell said.
The company, which went public last year, has struggled to earn money. Zynga stock has fallen about 70 percent since the company's IPO, and last month two key execs left.
The new FarmVille will launch today on Facebook.com and Zynga.com