It seems like the social games bubble has started bursting. According to TechCrunch, Zynga is shutting down, stopping accepting new players, or pulling from the app stores 11 of its games. According to the company, keeping some of these games up was too much strain on the company and was costing it money that it couldn't afford. The company will be moving the engineers, designers and product teams to other more successful games.
Many games are being shut down
Here is the list of games that either have already been shut down, or are in the process of being shut down:
- PetVille – Shut down December 30
- Mafia Wars 2 - Shut down December 30
- FishVille – Shut down December 5
- Vampire Wars – Shut down December 5
- Treasure Isle – Shut down December 5
- Indiana Jones Adventure World – Closed to new players, shuts down January 14
- Mafia Wars Shakedown – Pulled from app stores
- Forestville – Pulled from app stores
- Montopia – Shut down December 21
- Mojitomo – Pulled from app stores
- Word Scramble Challenge – Pulled from app stores
This comes as a big blow to some people who have poured countless amounts of money and time into the games, as they revolved around speeding things up by paying real money to buy in-game items. The company has been facing angry comments from players, such as “my daughter is heartbroken” and “Please don’t remove petville. I been playing for 4 yrs. and I’M going to miss my pet Jaime….why do you want cause depression for me and others. Why do you want to kill my pet?”
This could be a result of Zynga's falling stocks. According to an earlier report, the company's shares had gone down by more than 12 percent as a result of Zynga ammending its contract with Facebook that let it release its games on platforms other than Facebook. Zynga had filed a document with the SEC, which details the amendments in the agreement between the two companies.
“In addition, effective on March 31, 2013, certain provisions related to web and mobile growth targets and schedules will no longer be applicable and Facebook will no longer be prohibited from developing its own games. Further, Zynga's right to cross-promote between games on the Facebook web site will be governed by Facebook's standard terms of service,” reads the document.
According to the SEC, Zynga can now launch games on any platform it wishes and use non-Facebook ad payments and ads, but Facebook might stop giving it valuable preferred treatment. Zynga will still continue to have a huge presence on Facebook, and has stated that its games “will generally be available through the Facebook web site concurrent with, or shortly following, the time such game is made available on another social platform or a Zynga property.”
But this move may also hurt Zynga in the long term as the company will no longer be able to cross-promote its games. Essentially, if a player on Zynga.com shares his achievements from the game on to their Facebook Timeline, it will no longer direct it back to Zynga.com, which could mean a fall in the traffic to the site.