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EA Popcap ends Baking Life over low user numbers

EA Popcap will shut down underperforming social game Baking Life at the end of the month, attributing the closure to its players numbers not being high "enough to justify continued support."
EA Popcap will shut down underperforming social game Baking Life at the end of the month, attributing the closure to its players numbers not being "enough to justify continued support." This marks the first confirmed closure of a PopCap game since Electronic Arts acquired the casual game developer and publisher in July for as much as $1.3 billion ($550 million of that dependent on Popcap meeting certain performance milestones through 2013). Though the Facebook game's monthly active user count has fallen dramatically in the past 18 months, shrinking from 6.7 million to now 760,000, Baking Life still has more users than previous EA social game releases like Monopoly Millionaires, Madden NFL Superstars, and Pogo Games. "Player numbers have dropped in such a way that Baking Life is no longer performing well enough to justify continued support," Popcap's communications VP Garth Chouteau explained to Inside Social Games. "As such, we are reallocating resources to games that we are developing for future release." The game was originally created by Bay Area-based developer ZipZapPlay, which PopCap purchased for an undisclosed sum last April. Though Baking Life was the studio's biggest title, its audience numbers were already on a downward slope at the time, having dropped to 2.2 million. As part of its acquisition deal with PopCap, ZipZapPlay closed another social game last year, Happy Habitat, to focus on another project. The two companies were reportedly still deciding whether to close Baking Life during negotiations. PopCap currently has two titles on Facebook, Bejeweled Blitz (9.4 million monthly players) and Zuma Blitz (2.1 million monthly players). It began open beta testing an original game called Pig Up in July, but as of press time the game is not functioning. It's also working on Lucky Gem Casino.

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