American firm decides to ‘lessen’ ties with social networking site
Electronic Arts, the company behind famous Facebook titles like Outernauts, Plants Vs Zombies, and SimSociety Social, announced that it will now lessen its focus on games created for the social networking site. EA president Frank Gibeau said on a press release that the company has decided to become less active on Facebook, and focus more on console and mobile game development.
As of this time, EA isn’t generating much from Facebook, reason why the company’s decision to stay away from Facebook didn’t surprise the public. In its latest financial report, the California-based company revealed that smartphones and tablets are its most profitable platforms, not Facebook.
“Our quarter was notable for the high percentage of revenue attributable to digital games and services… To that end, Apple was EA’s biggest retail partner measured by sales, and that, is a first.” Peter Moore, EA’s chief of operations.
EA was not the first big-time company to cut its ties with Facebook. Last March, then Zynga CEO Mark Pincus announced that his company will stop dealing with the global social networking site when it comes to the promotion of Zynga titles. Two of the largest names in social gaming industry have agreed to cut ties through an amendment contract that was filed by Zynga in November. Under the deal, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, the social gaming giant will now “use its own currency on Zynga.com, instead of routing payments through Facebook, which collects a 30% fee from transactions.”
Many believe that this move by Zynga was caused by its decision to become more independent. The company is now venturing on real-money betting industry through Zynga PlusPoker. The company’s real-money poker games debuted in the United Kingdom last June through the partypoker.com network. This move has helped Zynga raise its stock. According to TechCrunch, the company’s shares went up by 5% in after-hours trading few days before it started operation in the UK.
As for EA, its shift of focus to console and mobile games was also affected by the upcoming release of next-gen console games by Microsoft and Sony. EA wants to keep up with the games that will be produced by the two boxed console producers before the end of the year. Microsoft, Sony, and EA have been great partners in video game creation for almost two decades. However, with the changes that console brands made on their respective gadgets and the arrival of new breed of game developers like Epic Games and Blizzard Entertainment, EA can’t be too comfortable. The competition is now stiffer than ever and developers need to put all their 100% in a particular game category.
Facebook doesn’t mind losing publishers. This means that the pressure is on EA. Is EA right in lessening its ties with Facebook? Tell us how you feel.