PopCap shutting down Bejeweled Blitz on Google+
After developer wooga announced it was pulling its games from Google+, it turns out the social network is also going to lose EA PopCap’s Bejeweled Blitz.
The news comes straight from PopCap’s support page, which states Bejeweled Blitz on Google+ will go offline June 18. The studio’s disabled the ability to purchase coins and additional spins and is encouraging players to spend whatever coins they have left over. Any coins earned or purchased before this point in the game cannot be transferred to other versions of Bejeweled Blitz or other PopCap titles on Google+. The Facebook version of Bejeweled Blitz, meanwhile, is still one of the top 25 Facebook games in terms of daily active users; this month, it took the No. 11 spot with 2.9 million and is still holding that number.
Despite still going strong on Facebook, this is technically the third high-profile EA social game to be shut down in as many months, with Facebook titles Restaurant City in April and Dragon Age Legends in May. EA seems to be struggling with to maintain its status as a top social games developer, now that The Sims Social is winding down and no top-trafficking game has launched to replace it. The company now shifts between the No. 3 and No. 4 spots on our Facebook game developer leaderboards by DAU, often trading places with wooga. EA may be scaling back on developing social games to pursue publishing instead, as it recently announced it would publish Insomniac Games’s Outernauts on Facebook.
We’ve reached out for a comment from Google, PopCap and EA, but have yet to receive a response at the time of writing.
Update: Bejeweled Franchise Director at PopCap, Giordano Contestabile, tells us, “Our decision to pull Bejeweled Biltz from Google+ had nothing to do with EA scaling back on anything. On the contrary, Bejeweled Blitz has doubled revenue over the last 6 months and we’ve seen steady revenue growth since the EA acquisition. 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.”