PopCap has announced it will remove Bejeweled Blitz from Google's social networking site, claiming it wants to "redeploy [its] resources to other adaptations of Bejeweled". It's bit of a blow for Google+'s ambitions, though I don't think anyone can blame PopCap for seeking out more lucrative pastures.
One only has too look at Zynga to see that not everything is rosy in the world of social games. Money is still being made, but people are starting to realise that these online Skinner boxes aren't as much "fun" as they used to be — if they ever were.
I wouldn't put lump Bejeweled Blitz with Farmville — Bejeweled is a game at least — but online, embedded in sites like Google+ and Facebook, it can't help but be wrapped up in the same cloth. Have social games reached a head? Will they need to innovate or evolve if they want to continue to exist?
Maybe we're just seeing a correction and the falling numbers will stabilise. Whatever is going on, PopCap, and to some extent, EA, feels the need to focus its efforts elsewhere. Apparently, the metrics are telling them that Google+ is not one of those places.
PopCap and Wooga Pull Games From Google+ [TechCrunch]