The move is not surprising — while at one point Baking Life had been one of the bigger hits on Facebook, peaking with more than 6.7 million monthly active users in August 2010, traffic for the game has been in slow decline ever since. When PopCap acquired ZipZapPlay last April, the future of the game was still being decided, even though it had more than 2.2 million MAU at the time. It’s unknown at this point if EA’s acquisition of PopCap in July had any effect on the decision to sunset the game.
When asked about the decision, Garth Chouteau, PopCap’s VP of communications sent this statement to Inside Social Games: “Unfortunately, we had to make a very difficult decision to shut down the game. The Baking Life player numbers have dropped in such a way that Baking Life is no longer performing well enough to justify continued support. As such, we are reallocating resources to games that we are developing for future release.”
It’s pretty much the same story ZipZapPlay has told before when sharing its previous experiences on the Facebook platform in trying to balance a game’s lifetime value of users (LTV) against cost per install (CPI). For EA PopCap, however, the decision puts PopCap in an awkward position with regards to its social games portfolio. Although Bejeweled Blitz and Zuma Blitz have done well, they are both based on existing PopCap franchises. Development on PopCap’s Pig Up! has been frozen and ZipZapPlay has not released any new titles since its acquisition, so its not clear what the company’s next move on Facebook will be.
According to our traffic tracking service AppData, Baking Life currently has 760,000 MAU and 100,000 DAU. Although the game’s user base has declined significantly, it still enjoys retention above 13 percent.