Electronic Arts and Maxis have announced that on June 14th, several Facebook games including The Sims Social, SimCity Social, and Pet Society will be permanently taken offline. The publisher isn't being shy about the cause: it squarely blames a decline in user activity for the shutdown. "After millions of people initially logged in to play these games, the number of players and amount of activity has fallen off," reads a statement from EA's staff on the company blog.
EA goes so far as to point out that it's not the first time this has happened to once hugely-popular Facebook titles. "For people who have seen other recent shutdowns of social games, perhaps this is not surprising." Zynga, once the social network's cash cow among casual gamers, has steadily lost momentum in recent months and has recently sought to better establish its own identity.
Not surprisingly, the community forums for each title will also be closed come June 14th. Despite the discontinuance of these Sims games, EA notes that it won't be abandoning Facebook as a gaming platform entirely. In fact, it's encouraging players to take up PopCap-developed games including Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled Blitz, and Solitaire Blitz. And for those feeling burned by EA's latest decision, the publisher will again attempt to make things right with a consolation prize: "a special offer to introduce you to a PopCap game." Facebook may have big ambitions for gaming, but it seems EA has gone lukewarm on the platform — at least for now.