April 15, 2013
EA Becomes Less Simulated on Facebook, Shutters 3 Games
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
The company posted a statement on its website to announce the "update."
"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," the statement said.
FAQs and answers to players' questions are being handled in the forums related to each of the three games. The Sims Social page offers the explanation, "We had to make the difficult decision to close down The Sims Social 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," the FAQ page read.
Other games currently offered by EA on Facebook include PopCap titles Bejeweled Blitz, Solitaire Blitz and Plants Vs. Zombies Adventures. Bejeweled Blitz is listed in the first five of the top-rated games on Facebook. It is, however, a very different game from the Sim category.
Sim games, including The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society, fall into the simulation category. Most are focused on a person, family or swath of land to build and develop. In the description for SimCity Social, it says "More than 1 million people play this," though some of those users may have become inactive or less frequent players. In SimCity Social, players start with a blank green slate and plan and build cities where "Sims" move in and live.
Top-rated games in the Simulation category include FarmVille 2, which is listed to have over ten million players; CoasterVille, also with over ten million players listed; and ChefVille with over ten million players. The Sims Social is listed in the fourth spot of the top rated games in the Simulation category, with over five million players. It is listed that Pet Society also has over one million players.
The announcement to shutter three Sim-related games comes days after EA had layoffs at its Montreal development studio.
Companies have pulled the plug on Facebook games before EA, and will do so again. Zynga stopped support of 11 social games at the start of the year. The move was due to a "cost-reduction plan."
Shuttering less popular titles allows game developers to move their resources to new titles that will bring in larger audiences. The resources to which they refer includes: development manpower to design and program games, people to administrate games once they become available to play, servers dedicated to running online games, and other factors. When a game loses popularity, it doesn't bring in enough money to support the resources required to keep it running.