What's the most popular video game these days? If you think it's Halo: ODST, Batman: Arkham Asylum or Wii Fit, think again. While high profile console games are hogging the consumer spotlight, Zynga's FarmVille - a free-to-play Facebook game about tiling soil and tending crops in a virtual farm - has quietly amassed more than 58 million active players.
For anyone counting, that number easily surpasses the sales figures of the best-selling console video game of all time: Nintendo Wii juggernaut Wii Sports, which has only sold about 45.7 million copies to date.
The number of people who play FarmVille is still growing. Let's put it this way: More people play FarmVille than watch Oprah. Players have generated more than 40 million farms (20 times more than the actual number of farms in the United States), own more than 500,000 tractors, and conduct more than 80 million harvests each day. So far, $321,000 in real cash has been raised for charity through the selling of an exclusive kind of sweet potato in the game. FarmVille supplements its free-to-play model by letting players purchase special items in exchange for real-world currency.