When Electronic Arts bought social games maker Playfish for $300 million—plus a $100 million buyout—in 2009, it sent shock waves throughout the videogame industry. Spurred by growing speculation about the value of then-private Zynga, some tech pros say it was the beginning of a bubble for developers who specialize in Facebook games.
On Monday, EA once again surprised the tech world – this time by announcing plans to axe several games on the social network, including The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society. When those titles shut down on June 14, Playfish may not have any active games—thus raising questions about its fate. (EA declined to discuss the future of Playfish, saying it was “not commenting on individual teams.”)