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EA to be overtaken by Wooga in social space

Electronic Arts and Disney social acquisitions continue to under perform

Electronic Arts' social gaming efforts are losing momentum, with the company expected to be overtook in the space by European company Wooga within weeks.

That's according to a research note from Cowen & Company, that states both EA and Disney's recent social acquisitions have been underperforming.

"EA's user base continues to decline," wrote analyst Doug Creutz. "Over the next couple of weeks we expect the company to be overtaken by the rapidly growing European gaming company Wooga, and fall to number three in total Facebook gaming MAUs."

However, Creutz did note that EA has a "potential ace up its sleeve" with the upcoming release of The Sims Social, although no official release date has yet been attached.

Wooga's climb in the social space has been impressive. In April it became the number four publisher on Facebook, overtaking Disney's Playdom.

Electronic Arts bought social firm PlayFish last year for $300m while Disney splashed out over $760 million on Playdom.

The high price of Disney's acquisition and slow release of new titles has led investors to question why the company is bothering with the social games space.

In April it released the only titled developed by Playdom since the acquisition - Gardens of Time - which got off to a strong start but has since slowed.

"Although Disney has registered an impressive hit with its April release (13.5 MAUs), growth for the title appears to have slowed significantly over the last few weeks. This is consistent with the two- to three- month growth windows of titles released over the last two years by Zynga and EA," said Creutz.

"Although we applaud Disney's success with Gardens of Time, we think Disney needs to come up with several more hits (and sustain existing hits) to begin to make headway against the significant losses being generated by their Interactive Media unit."

While Zynga remains the king of social gaming, the strong start for Empires & Allies "appears to have cannibalized users from some other Zynga games" including FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Treasure Isle, offered Creutz.

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Matt Martin avatar

Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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