Christmas Shopping Guide

Is Candy Crush Saga the last of its kind?

I was never a fan of Mafia Wars, but I did play Vampire Wars fervently. At the peak of my addiction, I had over 1,500 Facebook friends1,000 or so of which were my gaming buddies. Back then, social games were all the rage on the social networking site, begging the question, Was Facebook turning into a gaming platform? Well, that question can finally be answered. And the answer is no. I have since deleted those 1,000 friends, leaving me with people I actually know in real life. I have also blocked most game requests, as, I would later find out, is something that a lot of people have done. Today, my only guilty pleasure in the realm of social network gaming is Candy Crush Saga. And Im not the only one whos hooked. Candy Crush Saga is the most popular Facebook game, beating longtime favorite FarmVille 2 on both monthly and daily active user counts. For me, the game is so entertaining because its built upon the simplicity of the tile-matching puzzle premise while challenging players to take on increasingly difficult levelswith a variety of goalsas you move further along in the game. And you need your friends for extra lives (attempts), moves and tickets to unlock new chapters. Seeing your friends progress and scores is an added bonus, if youre the competitive kind. Before Candy Crush Saga, the last game I played with Facebook integration was Draw Something. This was in early 2012. Social network gaming, once the hottest activity to hit the online social scene, seems to be on a decline. Chris Morris, writing for the Plugged In blog on Yahoo!, observed, As apps continue to expand, most people dont have the time to play games on their phone and on Facebookand theyve opted to go with the mobile optioneliminating the need to go through a middleman. Just last week, Electronic Arts announced the difficult decision to retire some of our Facebook games: The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society effective June 14, citing a decrease in players as the reason. Also last week, digital research firm Superdata reported that for the first time in over a year, the total number of monthly active social gamers in the US dropped below 200 million, with the departure of roughly 10 million players. It added that EAs retirement of SimCity Social and [Pet Society developer] Playfishemphasizes the loss of interest in the space by major publishers.
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