PopCap owner and game publisher Electronic Arts has quietly revealed that PopCap’s Facebook hidden object game Hidden Agenda (our review) will be retired from the service on October 22. This move comes after a slow start by Hidden Agenda, which peaked at 1.8 million users in late March, according to our app-tracking service AppData.
Hidden Agenda places players in the role of detective, challenged with solving a murder case with the help of some talking animal friends. Its hidden object scenes come in multiple varieties, from the classic scenes containing items on text-based lists to timed modes and spot the difference scenes.
Interestingly, EA had previously shuttered its own hidden object game, JetSet Secrets, in favor of PopCap’s Hidden Agenda, despite it peaking higher than Hidden Agenda in terms of monthly active users (at over two million players).
Another EA property, Playfish, saw many of its titles shuttered this year as well. After closing The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society due to declining user numbers, EA has looked to PopCap for success on the Facebook platform.
According to a statement inside Hidden Agenda, however, the PopCap name still wasn’t enough for guaranteed success.
“Though fans love the game, the number of people playing has continued to drop since we introduced the game despite our efforts to keep the mystery alive,” the statement reads. “The decision to retire PopCap games is never easy, but it takes a lot of invention, effort and time to keep a game going, and we just can’t do that if there aren’t enough people playing, as is the case here. We know this is painful for dedicated players, and we’re sorry.”
Players with remaining premium currency in Hidden Agenda are encouraged to spend it before the game closes in October. No refunds or transfers will be made of that premium currency, but players are encouraged to play other PopCap hidden object games on iOS, PC or Mac, as examples.
PopCap still has many games available on Facebook, including Bejeweled Blitz and the newly launched Plants vs Zombies Adventures, which was released in May. You can keep track of the growth of all of these games on AppData.