Just over a year ago, Google bought Slide, a social game company mostly known for games like SuperPoke Pets, SPP Ranch, Top Fish, etc. It didn’t seem to be outside of the realm of possibility that this would heavily factor into Google’s social network plans, which at the time were still unclear.
All of this time, however, Slide’s team has operated separate from other Google projects, and Google of course recently launched Google+, and even more recently, games on Google+. It would appear that the Slide acquisition isn’t bringing much to the Google+ table.
Google, after dropping $200 million on Slide, is shutting it down, as first reported by Liz Gannes at AllThingsD. Meanwhile, Slide founder Max Levchin, who Google made a VP of Engineering following the acquisition, is leaving the company.
The Slide Team posted a message on the company blog saying:
We wanted to give you all advance notice that in the coming months, a number of Slide’s products and applications will be retired. This includes Slide’s products such as Slideshow and SuperPoke! Pets, as well as more recent products such as Photovine, Video Inbox and Pool Party. We created products with the goal of providing a fun way for people to connect, communicate and share. While we are incredibly grateful to our users and for all of the wonderful feedback over the years, many of these products are no longer as active or haven’t caught on as we originally hoped.
Most importantly, we wanted to take this opportunity to reassure you that we’re committed to helping our users preserve their data as easily as possible. We recognize that many of you have stored valuable content with us and want to assure you that, wherever possible, you will have ample time to download that information or transfer it to another service.
For example, on Slide.com, we will enable users to either download their photos or export them to a Picasa account. We are working to release this export feature over the coming weeks and, once added, users will have several months to take advantage of transferring their photos.
A Google spokesperson is quoted as saying, “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.”
According to Gannes, at least some of the Slide team will be going to the YouTube team. I’d be very surprised if others didn’t make their way to Google+, given the aforementioned gaming offering on Google’s new social network.
Google also acquired another social gaming company last year in SocialDeck.
Google of course has some prominent third-parties offering games through Google+, such as Zynga, which makes some of the most popular games on Facebook, and Rovio, which makes the very popular Angry Birds.