EA Shutting Down Playfish Studio, Says Farewell To Social Gaming
People who follow video game news know by now that social gaming is taking its dying breaths these days. A couple of years ago, social gaming seemed to be the future of video gaming for better or worse. However, those days are long gone, and now it seems like a dead prospect, just ask EA.
Back in the days of the social gaming craze, EA purchased social games developer Playfish for an out worldly amount of $300 million thinking that it would be a good investment. Sadly, for EA that won’t be the case. EA plans to shut down its Playfish studios and by the end of this summer there won’t be a single Playfish game active on Facebook.
EA will be shutting down SimCity Social, The Sims Social and Pet Society on June 14th. Furthermore, EA will be closing Madden NFL SuperStars and NHL Superstars on May 14.
All this was announced in a post made on EA’s official website:
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.
Keep in mind that Playfish was not the only EA social game developer studio out there. In fact, PopCap is still running its games on Facebook, which include Bejeweled Blitz, Solitaire Blitz and the recently-announced upcoming game; Plants vs. Zombies Adventures.
EA may have taken the backdoor and gotten out of the mess. However, Facebook so far has not conceded defeat. According to Tera Randall, Facebook’s technology communications manager, who shared stats with Gamasutra, Facebook has 75% more game activity this month than it had same time last year. According to her, more than 100 developers across Facebook generated revenue of $1 million each in the last year only.
Besides that, more than 250 million people are currently playing games on Facebook each month. It is a significant improvement from the 235 million recorded in October of last year.
Despite all this EA wasn’t convinced enough to stay any longer.
Social gaming may survive its cancer and bounce back. However, it can be confidently said that it won’t ever replace the traditional gaming. That notion is still as absurd as it was back in 2009 when social gaming was at its climax.