Imagine that one day you are playing a game on a social networking site and the next day you discover that this game has been replaced by a video speed dating application. That is exactly what is going to happen to those who have been playing the Oregon Trail game on Facebook. As Webware’s Josh Lowensohn first reported, the video dating site SpeedDate.com just bought the rights to this game and is planning to replace it with its own dating application.
The Oregon Trail game is still fully functional on Facebook, but underneath it, a short statement informs users that the name and functionality of the app will soon be changed in order to provide “a more engaging experience for our users.”
This seems like a rather strange move by SpeedDate.com – after all, speed dating and playing Oregon Trail have very little in common. Oregon Trail currently has 11,248 active users, which doesn’t make it one of the most popular Facebook apps, but it is surely going to be enough to get SpeedDate’s Facebook application up and running. However, we assume that most users will be rather surprised to see a dating app instead of a game about wagons, hunting, and oxen.
Josh Lowensohn also points out that SpeedDate will provide users with opt-out instructions, but, besides maybe keeping a few thousand users, SpeedDate will most likely only get a lot of negative publicity out of this acquisition.
Note: There is also another Oregon Trail-like game on Facebook, Northwest Trail, which is far more popular and is not affected by this ‘acquisition.’