First published in 2008, the game Farming Simulator is now up to its 2019 edition and shows no sign of slowing down. The idea of the game (which is available on multiple consoles and devices) is to manage a virtual farm, including taking care of livestock, growing crops, upgrading machinery and buildings and growing the size of the farm.
The later editions of the game enable community modifications to be made to the game, which can expand the options available to players. According to Kenny Beep from Farming Simulator Mods some of these changes can make the game much more enjoyable to play.
About Farming Simulator
Also known as Landwirtschafts (agriculture, or farming, in German) Simulator, the gameplay is open world, meaning that players are free to explore and take whatever actions they like rather than being directed.
There are no set tasks that must be completed at certain game stages, although the game does offer missions with deadlines – there is no punishment for not completing these, however there are bonuses for doing them quickly.
Landwirtschafts Simulator sells millions of copies with each new edition, and this trend has only increased as the game has become available on consoles like Xbox and Playstation, and mobile devices.
Each new edition of the game features major improvements to the playing experience. Farming Simulator 2011, for example, featured cows for the first time. The releases are highly anticipated – Landwirtschafts Simulator 17 topped PC sales in France and Germany when it was released.
The game is also multiplayer, allowing players to work together on a farm in a sort of virtual commune.
How realistic is it?
As the game has become more popular it has also become more and more realistic. The developers work with the manufacturers of real farm machinery to develop simulated equipment that can be purchased in the game that is virtually identical to the machines used on a real agricultural project.
Farming Simulator 19, for example, will feature John Deere products for the first time. The manufacturers of the featured machines will often provide the makers of the game with the exact details and specifications of their products, including how to take care of them, so that the simulation is as real as possible.
The benefit to the makers and players of the game is obvious, but the brands that are featured in the game also benefit from increased name recognition, familiarity and affection for the product. The realism is highly appreciated by fans of the game – Farming Simulator 17 enjoys a 92% approval rating on gaming sales platform Steam.
With modern advancements the graphics are also now incredibly good, allowing players to tell minute differences between tractors and harvesters, as well as pick out their favourite animals. This has only enhanced the experience of users. Modifications can also enhance the realism of the tasks you need to perform.
Who plays the game?
While it may seem odd, about a quarter of the people who play Farming Simulator work in the agriculture industry – meaning they farm in real life as well as to relax. People who have grown up around farms and moved away also find that the game is a good way to unwind, especially if they work in an office.
Games that simulate regular jobs have grown in popularity recently, with suggestions that adults use them both for fun and as a way to de-stress from real work that is increasingly disconnected from the end result.
People who play these simulation games may not actually want to want to do the jobs they pretend (with the farmers being an exception) but they still find the process of doing mundane, productive work somewhat therapeutic.
Farming Simulator is also popular with kids, and the game does not get particularly complicated unless you install modifications to increase the realism. It is generally a simple experience – unless you want it to be something more!