On June 14, Electronic Arts and Maxis will be shutting down several Facebook games, EA announced in a blog post on its web site.
EA says interest in the games has dropped dramatically.
This news follows the well-documented troubles of Facebook game maker, Zynga.
So, this could mean that people just aren’t spending as much time playing games on Facebook anymore, as EA hints in its announcement. EA references “other recent shutdowns of social games.” It is perhaps referring to Zynga’s decision to kill off PetVille and several other titles late last year.
Facebook says it’s still a major hub for game players. Last month, Facebook offered a bunch of stats, Chris Welch at The Verge reported: over 250 million users playing via the Facebook.com website every month; about 20 per cent of daily visitors playing games; more than 100 game makers that generated over $1 million last year. Overall, games generated a total of $2 billion in payouts to developers last year, too, Facebook said.
So, this news could also be part of EA’s attempt overhaul itself. EA was just named among the Consumerist’s list of “worst companies in America” for angering players by requiring that they connect to the Internet to play SimCity 5. Last month, Electronics Arts CEO John Riccitiello stepped down from his post after six years.
Here’s EA’s full announcement:
Today we are informing players of the difficult decision to retire some of our Facebook games: The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society.
After millions of people initially logged in to play these games, the number of players and amount of activity has fallen off. For people who have seen other recent shutdowns of social games, perhaps this is not surprising.
EA will continue to deliver popular titles for Facebook, most notably games from PopCap, including Bejeweled Blitz, Solitaire Blitz and the recently-announced Plants vs. Zombies Adventures.
For players who have enjoyed our games, we will be making a special offer to introduce you to a PopCap game. You’re a valued fan and we want to make sure you get a smooth transition to PopCap. More details about that offer will appear in-game soon.
Players with questions about the shutdowns can find FAQs linked here: The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society. The titles will go offline on June 14, 2013.
On behalf of the teams who developed these games, thank you for playing.