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EA brings several virtual worlds to an end

EA brings several virtual worlds to an end

Fans of so-called social games devote hours of time—and often, real-life money—to building their personal alternate lives. There’s definitely some emotional investment for many players, too. What recourse do they have when the company that runs the games decides to call it quits?

On April 15, game company Electronic Arts—awarded the Worst Company in America title for two years running by visitors to our sister site, Consumerist— announced that it was shutting down a number of social games on Facebook, including The Sims Social, SimCity Social, and Pet Society, effective June 14. Currently, there’s no assurance of ongoing support for open-ended social games such as these.

One commenter on CR’s Facebook page expressed her disappointment:

What recourse do you have for losing virtual pets and goods? The trend with social games is to lure everyone into a new game, use money grabbing tricks every week to milk it for all they can, put the profits into the next game, close the old one leaving people nothing for their money, rinse and repeat… This week one of my favorites, Pet Society, announced it will be closing. People are running around frantically trying to find ways to save it with petitions, lawsuits, boycotts, anything they can think of. But I’ve been through this before, it’s pointless.

According to FAQs devoted to each game, “Players are encouraged to redeem and spend their Playfish cash cards before the game is retired on June 14th. After that date, you will need to contact customer service regarding your Playfish cash cards.” No word yet on whether any refunds will be forthcoming.

Looking for tips and advice on gaming? Check our guide to video games, consoles, and tech toys.

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