Google axes Slide, takes many Facebook games down with it

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In a bit of a scandalous move, Google has announced that many (OK, almost all) of Slide's products--including many Facebook games and applications--will be shut down over the coming months. Google purchased Slide, the company behind Superpoke!, last August for $182 million, but now, they've dropped the hammer on the company.

The reasoning? It apparently all boils down to the fact that Max Levchin, the founder and CEO of Slide, has decided to leave Slide and Google altogether. If the reasoning goes deeper than that, we've yet to see that announced.

As reported by TechCrunch, most of Slide's specific employees will stay on at Google, but all of their products, save for one, will close. In terms of Facebook applications, this includes apps like SuperPoke! (one of the original truly popular social applications), SuperPoke! Pets (the company's pet care-taking sim) and SPP Ranch!, a game that had what I would argue are some of the cutest graphics in a social game to date.

When adding in Slide's other Facebook applications, we're left with a figure of around 460,000 monthly active users, according to AppData. But that arguably low number still doesn't make this news any less of a disappointment to those who remember just how popular SuperPoke! was back in the day. It also doesn't include the users that may not have used Facebook Connect to sign up for games like SPP Ranch! and SuperPoke! Pets that are now hosted outside of Facebook proper.

Outside of the Facebook game arena, this announcement also shutters the new photo-sharing iPhone application Photovine, which launched just last week. This leaves us to believe that there might be something more cryptic to the Slide closure than Max Levchin leaving, but that we'll probably never know for sure. With the closure of of Slide, we've certainly reached the end of an era, and I, for one, will be sad to see the adorable SuperPoke! sheep go.

[Image Credit: SPP Addict]

Are you / were you a fan of any of Slide's Facebook / stand-alone games? Let us know in the comments.
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