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PopCap, Wooga Pulling Games Off Google+

Is this a sign of darker days to come for Google's social network? The Social Games Observer reports that German social game developer Wooga is pulling Diamond Dash and Bubble Island from Google+ as of July 1 -- Monster World is already offline.

The company originally launched its three games on Google's social network back in August 2011, serving as a "valuable launch partner of Google's step to provide a full social experience for Google+ users." According to the report, the same titles currently perform very well on Facebook, but the same couldn't be said about the Google+ counterparts.

"We decided to remove certain games from Google+ because we have a much larger following on Facebook and they are active users," said a Wooga customer care representative.

Their failure on Google+ may stem from several reasons. The games were launched first on Facebook and players likely didn't want to start over. There's also no way to connect the Facebook version and Google+ version to share saved game data. A lack of Google+ users also probably put a hurting on performance: after all, few or no friends leads to a disappointing experience in a social game.

In addition to Wooga, Electronic Arts' PopCap division is also pulling its one and only game from Google+, Bejeweled Blitz, as of Monday. "PopCap has decided to suspend Bejeweled Blitz on Google+ to redeploy our resources to other adaptations of Bejeweled," EA stated. "Certainly, Google is a valuable gaming partner for PopCap and EA, and we’ll continue to develop for Google platforms."

Even with Wooga and EA pulling out of the Google+ bandwagon, the social website still offers 40 titles, up four from the 36 offered back in February. Many big name games still reside within Google's social halls including Rovio’s Angry Birds, Disney’s Gardens of Time and Zynga’s CityVille, Poker and Mafia Wars 2.

After Google launched the gaming platform last year, the company received a lot of attention from developers who were looking for a new place to sell their virtual goods, branching out from Facebook. Google's platform was -- and still is -- enticing in that the company only keeps 5-percent of the revenue generated from virtual goods while developers keep 95-percent. Facebook typically takes the Apple route and keeps 30-percent of the revenue.

But despite what Google claims, the departure of PopCap and Wooga indicates that Google+ still doesn't have enough of an active user base to generate the needed revenue -- even when Google's cut is only 5-percent. That said, it's possible Google+ could see additional departures unless Google finds a better way to bring in more active users.