Some bad news for Google’s emerging social network. Two major publishers of online games, Electronic Arts’ Popcap division and Germany’s Wooga, have announced that they are going to pull their games from Google+. The games have only been live on the network for less than a year but have been under-performing. This comes as a surprise when you consider that EA’s Bejeweled Blitz is one of the games being pulled – that title is a success on nearly every platform it touches.
The news first broke over at the Wall Street Journal. Google must be worrying that this could be interpreted as an augury and should make a public announcement to ease other gaming publishers’ woes – but its likely the damage has been done. If success-hungry EA is pulling back, the numbers couldn’t have been very good, and we’ll see if this changes. So far, it doesn’t seem like Google has been emphasizing the games element of their site as much as other areas like Hangouts, and that’s likely to lure users to their network. It’s a good strategy to focus on what separates them from Facebook, and right now Facebook is tough to beat when it comes to social games.
Wooga will be pulling Monster World, Bubble Island and Diamond Dash by the end of the month, and Electronic Arts is removing it’s only title on the network, Bejeweled Blitz. It’s surprising that the popular, addictive Bejeweled Blitz hasn’t succeeded on there, and makes me wonder if they can’t do it, who can? If you take a look at Bejeweled Blitz on Appdata, you’ll see it has 9.3 million MAU. A staggering high number that puts it 46th on the overall list of games on Facebook.
We’ll see how this affects Google+, but it looks like they’ll have to rejig some of their plans to make this work.