Following MySpace Traffic Falls, Some Top Developers Shut Down Games

Since late 2008, we’ve been tracking the top 25 games, or at least game-like apps, each month for the MySpace platform (at least as well as we could, given that MySpace only shares total install numbers). MySpace has never shown the amount of growth that Facebook has, but still offered a good audience for some games. Nevertheless, overall traffic declines on the site, as well as massive layoffs at the company, and plans for a sale have collectively cooled developer interest. And recently, a number of them have shut down titles on MySpace, mainly to focus resources on Facebook, from what we’ve seen.

Thus far, developers Playdom, RockYou, and Zynga have all shut down applications (although there may be more, let us know in the comments). Of the three, Zynga has shut down the least, while RockYou has pulled all of its top titles out completely. As it stands, most of the largest remaining apps consist of lighter games that are generally the simpler style of game from yesteryear, such as text-based role-playing games, and basic sharing/gifting types of apps that allow friends to interact with one another in fun, game-like ways.

Here’s a quick breakdown of top titles that have gone in recent months.

OverdrivePlaydom

Playdom was the second most dominant developer with seven titles within the most recent Top 25 by installs list. Now, however, it is even with BitRhymes, with five apps on the list, having shut down two of its role-playing games, Overdrive and Bloodlines. Both were text-based RPGs.

As it stands, Playdom is still keeping its top Mobsters game, Sorority Life, and WSOP Poker up and running. In addition to these, the merely game-like apps Bumper Stickers and Own Your Friends are still in service as well.

Overdrive — Though the game still appears in the app gallery on MySpace, it was noted to us that the game was, in fact, discontinued. As such, the exact shut down date is unknown, but the racing RPG’s user numbers, as of our last reporting on the 1st of March, tallied 2,709,540 and came in at #17 on our list.

Bloodlines – The vampire RPG, Bloodlines, has also shut down, and likely around the same time as Overdrive. It’s last noted numbers (also from the 1st), were 2,000,332 total users. It was #19 on our Top 25 list.

RockYou PetsRockYou

RockYou was the first major developer to drop out of MySpace. As it stands, every one of the top RockYou titles have been removed completely (meaning they no longer even appear in the app gallery). Likely the removal was due to both the decline of the platform and significant layoffs back in October. In total, the four top titles from the developer are now gone.

Truth Box – A game-like application that allowed for more fun social interaction between friends, its last recorded numbers, from December, were at 7,845,445 total users and was #7 in the top 25 MySpace games. We noted its disappearance in January

RockYou Pets — Formerly #10 on our lists, the virtual pet game of RockYou Pets also disappeared at the same time as Truth Box. Its user count, from December, was 6,063,043.

SuperHug! – Another game-like social interaction app, this time at #14, was SuperHug!. Along with the prior two, this app was gone come January, with the prior month’s user numbers equaling 4,454,609.

Speed Racing – A month later, racing RPG, Speed Racing bit the dust. Before its departure it was #19 and hosted 2,595,852 total users. The numbers were reported in January.

Street RacingZynga

Surprisingly enough, Zynga has not shut down as many MySpace titles as one might expect, considering past Facebook game shut downs. Thus far, it has only noticeably shut down its racing RPG, Street Racing. Like the Playdom apps, it still appears in the app gallery, despite being discontinued several months ago.

Zynga still hosts seven games within the top 25 MySpace games list including Mafia Wars, YoVille, Zynga Poker, Vampires, Fashion Wars, Special Forces, and Friend Factory.

Street Racing – Shut down at the end of November, the racing role-player actually still saw visitors for some time. Before we stopped tracking it, the game was still #11 on the list (despite having been shut down), with a total user count of 4,634,151 as of January. Note that the game also was shut down on Facebook.

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Leave a Reply

8 Responses to “Following MySpace Traffic Falls, Some Top Developers Shut Down Games”

  1. sumit says:

    It is kinda sad for developers to see demise of only other relevant social platform which could have given game developers a second choice and some competition to facebook as platform.

  2. Henning says:

    We at MegaZebra have also decided to part from MySpace. The more complex games get and the more they are build around the functionality, features and channels of one network, the harder it is to port them to another platform. Alternatively, one would have to make substantial compromises in terms of game play and user experience, which to us is not an option.

  3. MySpace с молотка | inSocialPlay — блог о социальных играх, социальных сетях и социальных медиа says:

    [...] недавно к длинному списку выключенных приложений добавились плейдомовские Overdrive и Bloodlines. О былом величии MySpace [...]

  4. Twórcy gier społecznościowych wycofują się z MySpace | Gram za darmo says:

    [...] wycofywać się z serwisu MySpace, który od wielu miesięcy traci na popularności. Serwis InsideSocialGames donosi, że studio RockYou wycofało wszystkie swoje gry z tego serwisu włączają w to Truth Box, [...]

  5. Don Synstelien says:

    Total Installs is a very deceptive metric and is nearly useless for measuring engagement. It is far more accurate to measure by active user separated by day, week and month. That unit is far more indicative of actual use of an app and I’m glad that Facebook uses it.

    I’m not going to go into specifics on how MySpace measures installs since I don’t work there and don’t know the details, but as a standard unit of measurement used elsewhere – an Install only happens once – when a user actually installs the app.

    Additionally, that number will only decrease if the platform offers a method of also measuring uninstalls (one should not overlook that uninstalling takes active participation by the user – which may not ever happen on a network where traffic is declining.)

    I’m sure that the reason these games are being dropped by their creators is that the actual active user base (I’m using “active” here as it might be measured by Facebook) is far less than the MySpace installed user metric might indicate. Perhaps very far less.

    I would not be surprised if the actual active user numbers developers are seeing is as low as 1-5% of that reported Installed base. That would surely justify why these developers are killing off support if it’s close to reality.

    -Don

    Disclaimer: I used to work at MySpace. The opinions I’m giving above are not based on any information that I have derived from my work at MySpace and should not be taken as a statement of fact.

  6. How Healthy are Facebook's Social Games and Gaming Scene? | Game Industry News, Interviews and Videos | Game Theory says:

    [...] once immensely popular MySpace has driven social game developers like Disney, RockYou and Zynga to pull some or all of their projects from the networking site. The games that remain are lighter fare, usually text-based adventures, [...]

  7. MySpace Gets Updated OpenSocial Activities API says:

    [...] style of filters, corralling games into one activity type. Although many developers have been turning off their MySpace games in recent months, MySpace still offers less restrictions on some parts of feed formatting – [...]

  8. Social Gaming Roundup: Shadow Government Funding, Playfish EIR, Mafia Wars MySpace Closure, and More says:

    [...] on MySpace — Other developers have shut down some games on the struggling social network, as we’ve been covering. Now Zynga, which so far has only closed one game, is ending formative hit Mafia Wars (the Facebook [...]

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