PopCap and Wooga abandon Google+
Google+ was designed to bring down Facebook. Thanks to backing from the likes of Wooga and PopCap, it even launched with its own suite of games to challenge Facebook giants like Farmville. Things haven't quite turned out that way, though. Gamasutra report that PopCap and Wooga are taking their games off the service less than a year after it launched. Ouch.
Gamasutra realised that something was up when they approached the two companies asking for Google+ success stories. A PopCap rep responded by saying "we're not really up for a conversation on that topic, I'm afraid." Ouch.
Wooga are set to pull their most successful games, Monster World, Diamond Dash, and Bubble Island from Google+ on July 1 according to a report on Social Games Observer, while Inside Social Games say that PopCap are withdrawing Bejewelled Blitz next week. PopCap told Gama that they're preparing to "redeploy our resources" to support other, presumably more successful versions of Bejeweled.
Bejeweled franchise director Giordano Contestabile told ISG that PopCap "chose to scale back the Google+ offerings because, like most game teams, we want to spend our resources improving games to have the biggest impact on the most customers. Shifting some of our resources from Google+ onto higher-impact efforts was a pretty straightforward decision." Which is a polite way of suggesting that nobody plays Bejeweled on Google+.
It's not over between PopCap and Google, though. "Google is a valuable gaming partner for PopCap and EA, and we'll continue to develop for Google platforms," said EA of the move. Google+ seems to be ailing, but Chrome's gaming capabilities are on the up. The Chrome app store will let you you try a bit of in-browser Bastion for free. PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled are also available there.
Is anybody out there using Google+? Can you foresee a future in which it brings down Facebook?