First, Zynga closed some offices and laid off hundreds and now EA is shutting down what were three of its most popular games.  SimCity Social, The Sims Social, and Pet Society.

On a blog post they said, "After millions of people initially logged in to play these games, the number of players and amount of activity has fallen off.   For people who have seen other recent shutdowns of social games, perhaps this is not surprising."

Until someone comes along and creates a less intrusive and annoying way to do social-gaming, it seems that we can clearly call “social gaming” a fad.  It lasted for a couple of years, but it’s apparent that the “social” aspect of playing games for free, i.e., posting on your friend’s facebook wall asking for building parts (like you had to do withZynga’s CityVille) is over. 

As reported in arstechnica.com, EA paid more than $300 million for social gaming company Playfish in late 2009, but as of June 2013, none of those games will be available on Facebook.

Some stats to consider: In 2011 Sims Social garnered 65 million monthly players; now that total is 5 million.  Pet Society once sold 90million virtual goods daily; now they’re lucky to get one million visitors monthly.

The arstechnica article points out that although there may be five million monthly players, only 1 to 3% of those actually purchase anything.

A few games such as Farmville2, Bejeweled Blitz (EA game) and Candy Crush Saga seem to be holding their own, it’s clear that for now anyway, the heyday of social gaming is quite finished.