Three of EA’s Facebook titles are facing the chop.
The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society – all of which were developed by Playfish – will be switched off on June 14th.
SimCity Social has been in operation for less than a year, having gone live in June 2012. The Sims Social arrived in late 2011 and Pet Society back in 2008.
After millions of people initially logged in to play these games, the number of players and amount of activity has fallen off,” an EA statement read. For people who have seen other recent shutdowns of social games, perhaps this is not surprising.
"We had to make the difficult decision to close down [these games] so we can reallocate development resources to other titles that we hope you’ll have just as much fun playing. We hope you have gotten many hours of enjoyment out of the games and we thank you for everything you’ve added to the community."
It will be offering affected players free digital incentives to make the switch to EA’s range of PopCap titles.
The news is a further blow to an industry whose aspirations include an increased digital focus for the upcoming generation of consoles. Such a transition will not be aided by a growing uncertainty over the long-term value of consumer’s digital investments.
Have we now arrived at the point where we can conclusively say that the casual gaming bubble has burst? Or has it simply changed?