In June 2009, Zynga came out with the app that would make it a household name among social-network users. While the company had already enjoyed some success with its earlier offerings, FarmVille was a blockbuster hit. But for those with eyes to see, it bore remarkable similarities to a precursor.
That precursor, Farm Town, was developed by a little-known Florida company called Slashkey. It featured a number of clever gameplay mechanics, chief among them real-time crop growth that requires players to regularly return to the game to tend their farms. Zynga’s version, launched months after Slashkey’s, would likely be indistinguishable to most players.
Link: FarmVillains – SF Weekly