EA shuts down Facebook games

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The social gaming bubble may well be on its way to bursting. The deluge of Facebook invites to games you really just couldn’t care to play, thanks to the likes of Zynga’s ubiquitous Farmville and EA’s Sims Social are set to recede, as EA shuts down a number of its Facebook games.

The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society are all set to be pulled from the social networking service. These are all games that allow players to use real-world money to buy virtual nonsense – and their closure leaves those “investments” up in smoke.

EA’s left a generic, blanket statement on each game’s Facebook page, letting users know their digital time-wasting, with those games at least, will be coming to an end.

"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."

Other statements are exactly the same, replacing just the title of the game. curiously, all of the cancelled games were developed by EA’s social game acquisition Playfish, which the publisher acquired in 2009 for a rather ludicrous $300 million, leaving the developer’s future uncertain.

EA’s declined to comment on Playfish’s possible closure, but has been directing social gamers to titles developed by its other big social ad mobile gaming studio, Popcap; titles like Bejeweled Blitz, Solitaire Blitz and Plants vs. Zombies Adventures.

Naturally, a number of people are pretty pissed off, especially in the case of SimCity Social, which has been online for less than year.

"I only play ONE game on Facebook. and this is it! It is the ONLY GAME I PLAY. You really know how to make customers happy. I will boycott anything EA if you remove this. Sorry," said one upset fan on the game’s Facebook page.

Another, angrier individual had this to say:

FUCK YOU EA! this is the only decent game you have, that I can play with other people with no hassle (other than your daily bugs) but thats besides the point right now. Ive been playing for a year probably a little more, collected enough for 2 diamond vaults, almost done with my island pyramid, took me forEVER to complete some of the tasks, and now yours just stripping us from this? I feel violated.

EA’s been riding wave upon wave of bad publicity of late, with head honcho John Riccitiello stepping down, Sim City’s disastrous launch and of course, the company winning the award for “The Worst company in America” for the second year running.

Always online games riddled with microtransactions; this is the future that EA wants.

Last Updated: April 16, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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