The wheels of progress are turning faster than ever, with Zynga announcing the imminent closure of three games, launched as recently as December 2012. CityVille 2, Party Place and The Friend Game are all now facing the axe, as part of Zynga's "disciplined" approach to portfolio management.
Zynga CFO Mark Vranesh explained the decision today in an earnings call:
CityVille 2 missed our expectations despite pushing the envelope in 3D gaming and both The Friend Game and Party Place failed to achieve the mass market appeal Zynga franchise are known for.
CityVille 2 enjoyed a healthy-enough launch in November, but interest dropped off quickly during December, apparently paired with a decrease in support from the studio. A similar thing happened with The Ville, which launched strongly, dropped drastically, but is still available on Facebook, alongside the original CityVille.
An interesting element of these closures is tied in with recent Zynga staff changes. Brian Reynolds, Chief Game Designer, left the company just last week - and it was his studio that oversaw development on CityVille 2. Conspiracy theorist gamers are wondering if the two are somehow connected.
Alternatively, it could just be the biggest example yet of Zynga's ruthless new cost-cutting measures. The company closed down 13 titles last quarter alone, suggesting a new approach: Perform or perish.
I like video games, fishing, Depeche Mode, long walks on the beach, writing discussion papers and cups of tea. Not necessarily in that order.
Jimmy the Geek