Electronic Arts Shutters The Sims Social

Electronic Arts Shutters The Sims Social

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Electronic Arts is closing three Facebook games, including the one that led to a legal battle between EA and Zynga that was settled just a couple months ago.

Electronic Arts announced today that it has made the "difficult decision" to pull the plug on three of its Facebook games: The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society. All three games will be taken offline on June 14, and players are being encouraged to burn through whatever Diamonds, SimCash or Pet Society Cash they have accumulated prior to the shutdown, as any excess will be lost once the games go dark.

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

Social game shutdowns in the face of declining audiences isn't surprising in itself, but what makes this one interesting is that Electronic Arts spent months wrangling with Zynga over The Ville, which EA claimed was a "comprehensive" copy of The Sims Social. The suit actually earned EA some positive vibes from the gaming community at large, in an "enemy of my enemy" sense; as unpopular as it tends to be, the publisher's "principled" stance against Zynga and game cloning at least briefly resonated with gamers. But the lawsuit was settled in February with no apparent consequences or effect - and less than 60 days prior to the Sims Social shutdown.

To compensate for the closure, EA plans to make a "special offer" to help players transition to a PopCap game instead. Details of that offer will be revealed in-game, in the near future. In the meantime, more information about the shutdowns can be found in The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society FAQs.

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Wow, it's like EA doesn't want to be involved in ANY aspect of gaming.

Interesting... there seems to be a total 180 going on at EA. I have to admit that in 2007 the company became remarkably different. It'll be interesting to see where the company heads now, but there's no doubt that the firing of the CEO and the Simcity debacle has EA rethinking it's entire corporate strategy.

Don't forget they shuttered a mobile studio the other week as well after spouting off that mobile is where the new gaming is. Maybe they're consolidating themselves for a new bout of evilness to coincide with their Golden Poo award?

Was this a game that used microtransactions? I can see a lot of pissed off people if EA's turning the servers off a game that people put their real-life money into in return for items.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Was this a game that used microtransactions? I can see a lot of pissed off people if EA's turning the servers off a game that people put their real-life money into in return for items.

They absolutely were. That's the Diamonds/SimCash/Pet Society Cash the original post mentioned.

Falterfire:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Was this a game that used microtransactions? I can see a lot of pissed off people if EA's turning the servers off a game that people put their real-life money into in return for items.

They absolutely were. That's the Diamonds/SimCash/Pet Society Cash the original post mentioned.

Hoo boy... EA dun fucked up again.

Let this be a lesson kids. If always-online and microtransactions become the norm, you can literally sink hundreds of dollars into a game that could be shut off tomorrow.

So who thinks that these will just be reborn as built-in TV games?

Strange I though EA was all about facebook and mobile gaming given how much they love micro transactions. I guess it turns out that those games aren't making enough money for EA either.

Dr.Awkward:
So who thinks that these will just be reborn as built-in TV games?

That seems like a definite possibility given EA's earlier announcement.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
If always-online and microtransactions become the norm, you can literally sink hundreds of dollars into a game that could be shut off tomorrow.

I'd say it's more or less the norm now.

How many games out right now are tied to either a download service or to nebulous 'servers' that do nothing in particular? It's especially jarring on the console, there was a question on Annoyed Gamer this week as to why anti cheat had stopped on older shooters like Black Ops one, the response was that you should be glad they hadn't just turned off the servers full stop, because money wise it's worthless to the publisher now. A game + DLC costs way over 100 in a lot of cases now, yet in four-five years time the publisher can just brick the whole lot, which is nice.

I'm not really sure how people sleep walked into this one (beyond that people are gullible), but they did, now I'm waiting for publishers to start slipping an 'off switch' into single player games.

I guess the moral is not to buy it unless it comes on a disc...

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Falterfire:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Was this a game that used microtransactions? I can see a lot of pissed off people if EA's turning the servers off a game that people put their real-life money into in return for items.

They absolutely were. That's the Diamonds/SimCash/Pet Society Cash the original post mentioned.

Hoo boy... EA dun fucked up again.

Let this be a lesson kids. If always-online and microtransactions become the norm, you can literally sink hundreds of dollars into a game that could be shut off tomorrow.

Ahh a person with common sense that is so rare in this day/age.

fix-the-spade:
I'm not really sure how people sleep walked into this one (beyond that people are gullible), but they did, now I'm waiting for publishers to start slipping an 'off switch' into single player games.

The answer is simple: Most people don't think about that when buying a game. Heck, I'm willing to bet 90% of gamers have never consciously thought about the fact that multiplayers servers are a Thing which can (and will eventually) be turned off.

Cecilthedarkknight_234:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Falterfire:
They absolutely were. That's the Diamonds/SimCash/Pet Society Cash the original post mentioned.

Hoo boy... EA dun fucked up again.

Let this be a lesson kids. If always-online and microtransactions become the norm, you can literally sink hundreds of dollars into a game that could be shut off tomorrow.

Ahh a person with common sense that is so rare in this day/age.

How is that common sense? If someone sank "hundreds of dollar" into The Sims Social, then you have more problems than it being turned off.

Might as well make that statement for any MMO. Or any multiplayer game. Or any game with DLC. It isn't common sense at all, it's doomsaying. Which a ridiculous number of people around here do.

That remind I don't hope one day to see Desura, GoG and Steam close after MANY years......

But honest opinion about this news, I think it would be legit if these games were around for many years like many other similar games.

How many years these specific games were active?

Falterfire:

fix-the-spade:
I'm not really sure how people sleep walked into this one (beyond that people are gullible), but they did, now I'm waiting for publishers to start slipping an 'off switch' into single player games.

The answer is simple: Most people don't think about that when buying a game. Heck, I'm willing to bet 90% of gamers have never consciously thought about the fact that multiplayers servers are a Thing which can (and will eventually) be turned off.

The most you can really do is try not to get burned more than once and really consider what you're paying for and how long you get to use it.

For Example I paid $40 for the Alpha Squad package in Planetside 2 which I haven't played in months due to just how toxic the enviroment and players can be, the balancing didn't help but I understand thats an issue with games in general and they eventually get patched again. So in all $40 wasted.

Now I'm playing Mechwarrior online which I'm finding is much better player-wise and balance-wise. I'm enjoying the game, throw out a friendly glhf at the begining of every match, and just get in some nice multiplayer fun. However even though the game is nicer I'm being very careful before I drop 10-15$ just so I can buy some nice cosmetic items for my mech.

I got burned once, now I need to be careful and think about what I'm willing to pay for in a game that I may stop playing or a game that might even shutdown.

SweetShark:
That remind I don't hope one day to see Desura, GoG and Steam close after MANY years......

But honest opinion about this news, I think it would be legit if these games were around for many years like many other similar games.

How many years these specific games were active?

After a quick wikipedia search:

The Sims Social launched on August 9, 2011

Sim City Social launched on June 25, 2012

Pet Society launched sometime in 2008/2009 ( couldn't find an exact date)

So... Pet society has had a good lifespan, the other two are only one and two years old.

Sight Unseen:

SweetShark:
That remind I don't hope one day to see Desura, GoG and Steam close after MANY years......

But honest opinion about this news, I think it would be legit if these games were around for many years like many other similar games.

How many years these specific games were active?

After a quick wikipedia search:

The Sims Social launched on August 9, 2011

Sim City Social launched on June 25, 2012

Pet Society launched sometime in 2008/2009 ( couldn't find an exact date)

So... Pet society has had a good lifespan, the other two are only one and two years old.

Holly sh*t, this actually suck really hard!

I think even I if I had paid for these games, I would had been piss off!!!

There's a reason it's being pulled, when your 'social' game is an obvious scam and a game made 10 or so years ago (The Sims) is far superior, has more features and gameplay without having to spend constant money.

fix-the-spade:

I'm waiting for publishers to start slipping an 'off switch' into single player games.

Always online DRM already does that. Unless you think Activision or EA will release a fix for that when they shut the servers off.

What is it about EA that fills me with glee whenever anything like this happens? I have several publishers I do not buy from and dislike but treat news positive or negative with a nice neutral meh, except EA when news of something bad happening to EA happens I get a huge smile on my face and think "that's one more nail".

Requia:
Always online DRM already does that. Unless you think Activision or EA will release a fix for that when they shut the servers off.

Fair point.

Mercifully the great apes of Homo Modiens tend to have an answer to always on DRM, especially when it's just a two line connection check...

DVS BSTrD:
Wow, it's like EA doesn't want to be involved in ANY aspect of gaming.

image

cookyy2k:
What is it about EA that fills me with glee whenever anything like this happens? I have several publishers I do not buy from and dislike but treat news positive or negative with a nice neutral meh, except EA when news of something bad happening to EA happens I get a huge smile on my face and think "that's one more nail".

They call that the sweet sound of comeuppance in progress.

OT: Okay, so that's another finger getting lopped off. Hey, can we micro-bill them for their bad service and declining capabilities? It's crunch time, EA! Feel the burn!

::Looks up number of players for the games, gets out calculator:: Congrats EA: Now you've added at LEAST 16 million 704 thousand 456 casual gamers to your list of haters. ::Goes to Wikipedia:: & it looks like all of these are Playfish games. Looks like EA is also cutting off Playfish's only other 2 active titles as well. They've only owned Playfish for 3.5 years & they've already run them into the ground.

When I complained that EA didn't deserve to beat out BofA as the Worst Company in America, I didn't take into consideration that EA goes through employees like tissues during cold season.

I'm actually surprised EA didn't try to sue Disney over ::Looks up name of Sims Social clone:: Disney City Girl. They just can't admit that Sims are a genre an not an exclusive game formula.

I love it. This is the company which proclaimed that social gaming and forced-online-play was going to be the wave of the future, and thus entered into a "long term partnership" with Facebook. Then a mere year later, the market's starting to slide and they're out here convincing us that the death of social gaming is "overhyped" and that it's still the wave of the future.

And now, only 6 months later, they're closing several of their most popular social games for good.

What happened to social gaming being "the future", EA? Couldn't stick your hands in enough pockets to make it worth your while, huh? Or maybe you finally realized that the casual market is much more fickle than the dedicated gamer market (a lesson Nintendo is still learning) and thus doesn't make a good customer base to hedge all your bets on? Well, whatever the reason, I'm still happy to see yet another nail in your coffin, and can't wait to attend your funeral when the market finally collapses under its own weight.

DVS BSTrD:
Wow, it's like EA doesn't want to be involved in ANY aspect of gaming.

To be fair?

They don't. They want to go into television instead.

 

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