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The tech that died in 2020

Even in a year like 2020, one thing didn’t change in the tech world: Certain devices, technologies, and services shut down. The causes vary, as does the level of regret. Some things we’ll miss; some things we never cared about; and others, we’re glad to show the door. This year, we’re dividing the departed by how much we think most people will actually care. Check out our list below and wave goodbye or good riddance to:

Tech we’ll actually miss


farmville1 mainbannerimage min Zynga

Few Flash games hitting end of life deserve their own entry, but few games have ever seized the public imagination like Zynga’s FarmVille. The company announced that as of December 31, 2020, FarmVille would drift off into the sunset with the rest of the Flash-based world.

FarmVille existed on Facebook, and for a few years the social network felt more like a vehicle for the game than anything else. Between June and October, 2009, 62 million people signed up to play the game, as reported by The New York Times. At the time that was close to one-fifth of Facebook’s global user baseFarmVille was huge, not to mention addicting. It had everything: critics, a Lady Gaga tie-in, business scandals, and one particularly horrific story.

With FarmVille you built a farm by growing virtual crops and livestock. You had freedom to design your farm as you wanted. The more work you put in, the bigger and better your farm grew. You could speed up progress with in-game purchases. 

The addictive part was that FarmVille happened in real time, regardless of whether you were tending to your homestead. That led to numerous notifications during the course of the day that your crops were ready to harvest. A FarmViller delayed at their peril, as they risked ruining all their hard work.

It was a gaming obsession that we really haven’t seen since. For anyone who misses the digital home on the range, there’s always FarmVille 3.

Google Play Music 

googleplaymusic Google

Nearly a decade ago cloud-based music lockers were the big craze from companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google. But when the dust settles there can be only one (or two, or three). Google decided that 2020 was as good a time as any to stop duplicating its music efforts (since it’s so busy churning out new messaging apps), and made December 2020 the final death date for Google Play Music.

It was a months-long demise for the service as Google encouraged its users to transfer to the new hotness: YouTube Music. In August, Google blocked new uploads and downloads through its Music Manager app, and the music store was closed. In September, streaming music from the cloud started shutting down around the globe, and by the end of December all personal music collections were deleted.