Surely a lot of hearts will break after Electronic Arts (EA) announced that its well loved social games namely Pet Society, The Sims Social and SimCity Social which are available on Facebook are bound to close this coming June 2013 due to EA’s intensive strategic re-positioning.
A news report from Daniel Nye Griffiths of Forbes.com confirmed this EA move. He added that other well known social games from the said company like Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled, for the time being are staying. Griffiths explained that these games are “diversified properties and exist across multiple platforms.”
According to Griffiths, EA’s move is far from its previous strategy during the tenure of John Riccitiello as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Moreover this devalues the output of Playfish, a company bought by EA for a whopping $300,000,000 in shares and cash. Playfish even has performance-based incentives worth $100,000,000 since 2009.
Before his resignation as EA CEO, Riccitiello had statements that criticized the program acquisitions during his tenure. Last October 2012, he said that the key element of the company’s strategy was to enter social sites. Contradicting EA’s move these days, Riccitiello emphasized that the decline in the usage of social games was not an indicator of a declining market but because of the personal preferences of consumers who would not pay for crappy games.
On the other hand, this recent budge from EA follows the concept of “social plus”. This meant that they would include social features in their free to play games and AAA games. These games with social features will add to the roster of EA Facebook Sports games. Meanwhile some EA FB Sports games will also shut down in May, they are the following: NHL Superstars and NFL Madden Superstars together with Jet Set Secrets, an adventure game.
EA made these statements after their April 12 announcement concerning the downsizing and reorganization of the company’s Montreal studio. These decisions took place due to the impending Q4 and full year results.
In his article, Griffiths described EA’s relationship with Facebook as “frenemy’s”. He explained that big players are annoyed because they are forced to rely to the platforms of another big player such as Facebook to market their products. The actions of EA show that they are not willing to wait for the appointment of a new CEO before doing a crucial move. EA just showed that they could function even without a new CEO.
With the present state of EA, most critics may agree that the company should study their shift before jumping into risky deals. To end some of their free play games in social media sites like Facebook will surely lessen EA’s visibility and they may even be less endearing to some gamers who patronize the games they offer.
EA should have a trick up their sleeve otherwise they will lose a lot of money if this persists. Pulling out games from Facebook is like swallowing poison that could slowly kill them. They should remember that a fairly large number of the gaming population is available through social media sites; drastic measures will have negative effects on the publicity of EA and this might hurt their sales.
Guest post provided by SEOP.com, a leading and trusted SEO company worldwide, provides information on issues related to keyword analysis, competition analysis, optimizing online content, article submission and social networking, among others.
Featured image credit: el33tonline.com