Zynga preparing Farmville expansion

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Zynga is preparing for a large-scale expansion to Farmville, titled Farmville English Countryside. Venture Beat reports that being rather than a full sequel, English Countryside will launch from the standard Farmville application but add a new farm that's significantly more British.

In England, you can breed sheep of different colors, and speed the process along with a "love potion" micro-transaction. Other new additions include a more detailed progress map to see your levels, plus new crops, equipment, decorations, and buildings. Luckily for experienced farmers, all of your current coins and cash, and farm size can transfer to English Countryside.

The game will also be adding quests, taking a cue from other "Ville" games FrontierVille and CityVille. It makes sense to cross-pollinate the ideas, after CityVille grew extremely fast at launch. But as usual, the quests are very focused on being viral, encouraging you to invite your friends.

Zynga has been quietly hyping the game on its Facebook page, managing to hit 1.5 million "likes" for English Countryside before launch, without any promotion for the expansion. It's expected to hit in the next few weeks.