If you’ve been anywhere in the vicinity of a computer and/or a video game over the past couple of years, then you’ve probably noticed that EA has been really, really working the whole social games thing. The games giant has released a glut of social and casual titles for mobile and the web with mixed success. In fact, EA’s latest earnings statement reveals that its traffic is down,” but that’s not going to stop the studio from executing another mobile, social, and free-to-play push through 2013.
Released earlier this week, EA’s latest earnings statement covered Q4 2012. According to the report, the company lost almost 3 million active monthly users and 1.2 million daily active users between Q3 2012 and Q4 2012. The launch of The Sims Social and the acquisition of PopCap both gave EA a huge social boost and encouraged the studio to keep on keepin’ on as far as social and mobile games are concerned. Unfortunately for EA, it looks like that burst of steam is cooling, as nothing that’s been launched since The Sims Social has really taken a foothold in the market.
But EA’s far from done with its social games love affair. In fact, according to company president Peter Moore, it’ll be releasing a whopping 41 games across mobile, social, and free-to-play platforms in 2013. You will never want for a virtual pet or a digital kingdom ever again.
EA is obviously going to throw a lot of, er, stuff at the wall and observe what sticks, but is that the way to sow a potential hit? People are already getting disenchanted with social games, and as far as the App Store goes, we’re already flooded with clones (though EA promises its working on fresh new social ideas,” but who’s going to admit otherwise?).
On the other hand, maybe this is the way to keep people’s attention trained on the social genre: give them so many options that they’re always playing something that your studio has produced. Better that than having the player wander off to a competitor’s product, right? It’s a good short-term plan, but extremely unhealthy for the social genre in long run.
Let’s meet back in this spot in one year and see how things are going.