SAN FRANCISCO - Not long ago, online games company Zynga looked on pace to unseat much bigger, well-established rivals as it rode the popularity of "FarmVille," the clicking game of virtual cows and real money.
But the iPad came along, and more people bought smartphones. People weren't playing Zynga's games on Facebook and computers as much as they used to. Zynga's revenue growth slowed down, and its stock price fell sharply, even as it released dozens of new games.
Now, the out-of-luck game maker is turning to a "FarmVille" sequel for a revival.
A lot is riding on "FarmVille 2," which Zynga Inc. released on Wednesday.
It's a total makeover for the simplistic, addictive, but oft-derided online diversion. It now has lush 3-D graphics instead of the old two-dimensional figures.