This announcement comes by way of FarmVille Community Manager Grimwell, via the game's official forums. There, we've learned that Zynga's expectations for the feature apparently didn't match up with the way players responded, and that there were still some issues (the Flea Market not showing up, perhaps?) that needed to be worked out before continuing to support the feature. Here's the full word from the Big Z:
"After listening carefully to everyone's feedback, we've turned off the Flea Market feature, so you'll no longer find Claire visiting your farms. As you know, we've brought this feature out very slowly and we have actively watched how Farmers who have had access to Claire responded, and how the feature worked out in comparison with our expectations.
We're certainly very happy to see that a great number of Farmers are interested in trading! The Flea Market has taught us that we have a good number of things to resolve before we can consider a feature with trading a permanent part of FarmVille. Due to that realization, the Flea Market has been removed from the game.
Thank you for your interest, participation, and feedback on this feature."
As with everything, there's a chance this feature might come back online once things have been tweaked a bit, but I highly doubt it will provide a way for users to earn so many coins so quickly and easily as it did before. Either way, we'll make sure to keep an eye on things and will update you as we learn more about the Flea Market's status on our farms.
[Via FarmVille Freak]
Are you sad to see the Flea Market removed from FarmVille? Did you ever receive access to the feature in your own game? Sound off in the comments!