Playfirst Sunsets Diner Dash as Traffic Declines

PlayFirst sent out notice to players today that the Facebook version of its popular restaurant simulation game Diner Dash will shut down on August 29. The developer cited declining performance as the reason for the closure, which as the same reason PlayFirst sunsetted Chocolatier in April.

Diner Dash’s life cycle plays out much like PlayFirst’s other Facebook titles as charted by our traffic tracking service, AppData. The game came to Facebook in January of this year, climbing to 2.2 million monthly active users and over 174,000 daily active users in its first two months on the platform. The game continued to grow in MAU through the month of May, but DAU began a steady decline in April. Diner Dash hit all-time highs of 2.5 million MAU and 257,000 DAU before arriving at today’s levels of 1.2 million MAU and 90,000 DAU.

The game is a faithful adaptation of the original PC download title where players control a waitress responsible for seating customers, taking orders, serving food, and cleaning up messes. A customizable garden was added to the Facebook version to maximize energy mechanics common to games on the platform, as well some gameplay boosts available for purchase with Frictionless Credits. Cross-promotion and connectivity with the other versions of Diner Dash on iOS, PC and Mac were limited to nonexistent, though Facebook players are receiving a coupon code for 50% off on the PC/Mac version.

In the restaurant genre on Facebook, Diner Dash stood out as both a latecomer and an oddity. While many early restaurant sim games like Restaurant City and Cafe World could be likened to Diner Dash’s core gameplay around pleasing customers, neither game placed emphasis on click timing the way Diner Dash has always done. It could be that the early restaurant sim games on Facebook altered player expectations such that the real Diner Dash experience was a bit jarring for players. It could also be that PlayFirst simply lacked enough of a Facebook presence to sustain a social game for an extended period of time being that its previous two games, Wedding Dash and Chocolatier, never came close to the traffic peaks Diner Dash enjoyed.

PlayFirst representatives did not respond to request for comment at time of press. When we last spoke with the developer about long term growth plans for the title, we were told that PlayFirst was experimenting with monetization and player progression through the various restaurant venues. As of today, players can earn more than just one restaurant and the world map has been altered to better reflect player progression toward unlocking new restaurants.

UPDATE: Mari Baker, CEO and president of PlayFirst, says, “We view this as a strategic redistribution of resources to platforms where we see better growth potential and those are the mobile platforms, specifically iOS.”