Google has announced that it will be shutting down Slide, the social gaming company it bought for around US$200 million less than a year ago. Slide produces social gaming apps for Facebook and MySpace such as SuperPoke! Pets and Top Fish.
Max Levchin, CEO of Slide is to leave Google for personal reasons, according to a spokesperson for the search engine giant:
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“Max has decided to leave Slide and Google to pursue other opportunities, and we wish him the best. Most of the team from Slide will remain at Google to work on other opportunities.”
Google has also decided to discontinue production on some of Slide’s unsuccessful projects like Photovine and Pool Party. Users will still be able to save their content and export it to a Picasa account before it is taken offline.
Slide began in 2005 after Levchin’s previous company, Paypal, was sold to eBay in 2002 for US$1.5 billion. Levchin’s new company started out by building apps for News Corp as well as the previously popular social network, MySpace. When Facebook began allowing third-party apps on its pages, Slide took the opportunity to expand even further. A few months down the line, Slide’s apps, Top Friends and My Questions become the most popular applications on Facebook, racking up over 21-million combined downloads.
Slide begun to plunge in popularity after software giant Zynga swooped in and cornered the market in social gaming apps. In 2010, Google purchased Slide in a move to combat Facebook’s success in gaming applications. Slide then released apps independent of Google’s influence, but when Google+ unveiled its own take on social gaming, Slide was knocked out of the search giant’s strategy all together.
Levchin, as well as Slide’s head of production Jared Fliesler will also leave Google. Sources report that Fliesler’s plans are to join the mobile payment startup, Square.