Less than a year after the debut of gaming on Google’s social platform, Google+, two game developers are pulling their titles. Bejeweled Blitz, a popular game owned by Electronic Arts‘ Pop Cap divsion, and several titles from Wooga, the maker of games for children, will no longer be available on the Google+ social network.
You can visit Wooga’s Monster World here on Google+ and discover that it has already gone offline. Although the page still exists, if you try to load the game, you’re instead directed to a message reading “Monster World Says Goodbye.” According to the message, the game was officially shut down on May 1st, although it appears many are just spotting it today in light of the other major pullout – that of EA’s Bejeweled Blitz.
In addition to Monster World, SocialGamesObserver is reporting that Wooga’s Bubble Island and Diamond Dash will also be removed from the network on July 1st. We’ve now confirmed this with Wooga directly. A spokesperson provided the following statement, but declined to say more on the matter: “In the coming weeks Wooga games Diamond Dash and Bubble Island will follow Monster World in leaving the Google+ platform.”
Google+ is not the first network to see Wooga leave, the company also pulled out of Berline-based StudiVZ last year, another situation where declining user engagement made it less worthwhile to dedicate resources there. Wooga continues to have a sizable Facebook audience, however, with over 40.1 million monthly active users across its total catalog.
The bigger name in terms of Google+ gaming exits is EA, which owns PopCap. The company is removing its only Google+ title, Bejeweled Blitz, according to Popcap’s customer support page. Here, the page informs players that Blitz will be taken offline by June 18th, and customers are encouraged to use up their remaining in-game coins by that time, as they cannot be transferred to another game or other versions of Bejeweled Blitz. Blitz, too, is a popular title on Facebook. It’s currently in the number 11 spot of top Facebook games with 2.9 million daily active users (source: AppData).
According to a PopCap spokesperson:
PopCap has decided to suspend Bejeweled Blitz on Google+ to redeploy our resources to other adaptations of Bejeweled. Certainly, Google is a valuable gaming partner for PopCap and EA, and we’ll continue to develop for Google platforms.
Bejeweled Franchise Director at PopCap, Giordano Contestabile, provided more color to the decision, telling InsideSocialGames, that “the Bejeweled team (not the greater PopCap, and certainly not EA) chose to scale back the Google+ offerings because, like most game teams, we want to spend our resources improving games to have the biggest impact on the most customers. Shifting some of our resources from Google+ onto higher-impact efforts was a pretty straightforward decision.”
The decision by these game makers to withdraw from the Google+ platform is clearly related to their ability to generate revenue. It’s notable that even though Google is under-cutting Facebook’s 30% fee for virtual goods by charging just 5%, that price cut alone was still not enough to make the resources the companies were dedicating to the platform worth the investment.
Updated 11 AM ET with most recent PopCap statement.