Some gamers are going to miss SuperPoke Pets. But in Silicon Valley, social developer Slide will be remembered for how it saw the opportunity in social apps early on, and for how it doggedly and sometimes successfully adapted as social platforms changed.
It will also be remembered for how it didn’t quite hit the key part of the trend at the right time as the industry evolved. Zynga instead cornered a big portion of social gaming, and is now heading towards an initial public offering worth billions.
After Google acquired it in 2010 for more than $182 million, Slide initially seemed poised for a second wind, helping to lead the creation of a product to go against Facebook. Instead, some of the team continued running SuperPoke and other apps — it still has nearly half a million monthly active users on Facebook — or worked on new ones like photo-sharing mobile app Photovine.
Those efforts were more on the periphery of Google Plus products, if not in competition with them; tellingly, Slide’s titles weren’t included in the recent launch of the search giant’s social game stream.
So, it’s not all that surprising that Slide announced to its employees yesterday that it would be shutting down almost all of its apps.
AllThingsD, which broke the story, also reported that Max Levchin, Slide’s founder, is leaving, along with two other top executives.
This still isn’t a failed acquisition in the way that other recent big ones have been, like Cisco’s closure of its Flip device line. Most Slide employees are staying to work in other parts of the acquirer, and we’ve heard that attrition to date has already been very low.
And because Google is busy hiring anyway — especially for its social products and the game stream — these 100-some veteran employees are still in a good position to make an impact.