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Watch out "FarmVille" addicts. As if you haven't spent enough of your time and money in the land of virtual agriculture, Zynga is launching a line of real-world collectible "FarmVille" plush toys to tempt you into opening your wallet this holiday.
The Facebook gaming king has also launched another new "Ville" game to suck you in.
Zynga has announced that it is partnering with Best Buy, which will sell the toys exclusively starting Nov. 25. There will be eight different farm animals in all — each one dressed up in jaunty winter wear!
Rabbit, cow, duck, goat, pig, horse, sheep and chicken — if you buy them all, you will be rewarded with a Super Orchard in your game ... or so says the Best Buy website, which is now taking pre-orders. Individual animals will run you $10 (though you get 10 free Farm Cash to use in your game as well). Or you can pay 99 cents for one of the fuzzy critters if you buy a $25 Zynga Game Card.
Of course, Zynga is simply following in the footsteps of Rovio — the company behind the mega-popular mobile game "Angry Birds." Rovio recently revealed that it is selling some 1 million "Angry Birds" plush toys and T-shirts per month.
And what game company wouldn't want in on that kind of action?
"FarmVille" took Facebook by storm ... er, plow ... when it launched on the social network in 2009. And with more than 30 million monthly users today, the game is still the fourth most popular app on Facebook, according to AppData.com.
Meanwhile, Zynga has created a string of hit "Ville" games — "CityVille," "FrontierVille" — that have both mimicked and expanded upon the "FarmVille" gameplay formula. And on Monday, Zynga launched its latest addition to the Ville line-up: "CastleVille."
This time around, players aren't tasked with creating the farm of their dreams, they're tasked with creating a castle and a kingdom of their dreams and with finding their own "happy ending."
According to the Zynga blog, "CastleVille" players will be able to do the following:
- Explore the World: Choose your path to discover mysterious locations, rare finds and even reveal hidden characters.
- Collaborative Crafting: Collaborate with friends to craft art, armor and portions to help each other on your epic journey, and even beg, borrow and steal goods to strike up the best deal.
- Love Thy Neighbor: A brand new reputation system gives you more reasons to be friendly. Reputation points unlock new actions such as trading, new items you can find in the bazaar, and new expansions. The more social you are, the more reputation points you earn and the faster you can progress in the game.
When "CastleVille" was originally revealed, Bill Jackson, the game's creative director, said he saw it as a step toward a deep online game like "World of Warcraft."
"Zynga is bringing massively multiplayer role-playing games to the mass market," he explained.
For more game news, check out:
- Zynga reveals 9 new games, new game network
- Five reasons to leap into 'Super Mario 3D Land'
- PETA attacks Nintendo over fur-wearing Mario
- Five tips for getting the most out of 'Skyrim'
Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+. And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.