EA shuts down SimCity social, other Facebook games

Electronic Arts is shutting down three of its biggest social games. The publisher announced that The Sims Social, SimCity Social, and Pet Society will all "retire" on June 14--SimCity Social is less than a year old, if you've been keeping track. EA says it has a special offer in store to help move uprooted players to PopCap's social properties.

"After millions of people initially logged in to play these games, the number of players and amount of activity has fallen off," EA's statement read. "For people who have seen other recent shutdowns of social games, perhaps this is not surprising."

All three were developed by social studio Playfish. Its games list has turned into a memorial, as Joystiq notes, with each game aside from Madden Social 13 either shut down or scheduled for closure. And Madden Social 13 is an EA Tiburon project.

Electronic Arts purchased Playfish in 2009 for $275 million, but is refusing to comment on the studio's future. It doesn't look good, given the string of layoffs at EA's Montreal social games studio and its customer support center in Galway, Ireland.


  • SilentDark - April 16, 2013 5:48 a.m.

    These days I wouldn't mind sacrificing Bioware to see this company bite the dust. They haven't really done anything awesome since EA picked them up and I'm sure a company of their pedigree could find another owner or even exist separately from others, they'd have publishers lining up around the block to publish their games. This is a long time coming for EA.
  • Wateverman - April 15, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    I'm glad to see them retreat but at the end of the day as long as they leave Bioware alone I couldn't care less what EA does with its company.
  • Bloodstorm - April 15, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    We, the hardcore, scoffed at all the insiders and publishers as they all came out with claims that social/mobile games are the future, that casual was the new hardcore. But, here we are, a few years later, with social/mobile studios going belly up and shutting down left and right, and even the mighty Nintendo newest console is struggling to find a foot hold, and why? Because casual gamers are just that, casual. They never had the intention of sticking around and giving you their money forever. Now, lets stop trying to make every franchise that caters to the hardcore gamer "more accessible", and lets purge the casual disease that has ravaged the gaming industry over this last generation of consoles.
  • MrXLiebezeit - April 15, 2013 1:12 p.m.

  • MayorOfAmerica - April 15, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    Truer words have never been spoken!
  • masterjoe123 - April 15, 2013 2:37 p.m.

    Exactly what I've been saying for the past several years.
  • MysterEnygma - April 15, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    Dark Souls for everyone!
  • Rhymenocerous - April 16, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    I love you.
  • BladedFalcon - April 15, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Well, this one is nice news, for once. Although this will sadly mean even MORE layoffs and closing Playfish studio, which is always crappy. But Social games dying down? that in itself makes me happy. Hopefully this will remind developers once again to not rely on the casual market for repeated revenue.
  • FoxdenRacing - April 15, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    The social bubble's popping. It won't go away completely, but it's no longer the 'Create social game, ???, print money' it was, not unlike the transition mobile's gone through. The bigger issue in my eyes is that we can't go a week without hearing about EA shutting down studio X, dropping support for product Y, or laying off people from studio Z. EA's imploding before our very eyes, the only question in my mind is whether it'll avert total collapse or not.
  • Bloodstorm - April 15, 2013 2:51 p.m.

    It's been mostly EA's social game studios being closed.
  • BladedFalcon - April 15, 2013 4:03 p.m.

    Well, it all depends of whether they realize they are crewing up with their current business model in time soon enough or not. You could say the same for Squeenix and activision as well. Their production costs have become so damn bloated that almost nothing is profitable enough anymore, (unless it's call of duty.) so either they look for a way to cut down on costs, or simply make cheaper games... Or then they will crash like Atari did. And see, this is pretty much why even though thePS4 cool, I am in no way getting near one for at least a year or two, until we see if next gen costs can sustain themselves or not. Because right now, the only sensible option I can see is in cheaper, more creative games, basically, indies, downloadables and kickstarter games. The latter ones are specially intriguing, because it could potentially create a new, better, different market in which the consumer and developers are more in control... But it still remains to be seen how viable is for kickstarter games are to come out when and how they are promised, and if they will be commercially successful.

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