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EA Acquires Playfish For (Maybe) $400 Million

Purchase shows faith in social games, social networks

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Social network games – and by extension, social networks themselves – received a strong endorsement this morning as a major acquisition was announced.  Electronic Arts has bought Playfish, a maker of said games, for at least $300 million.

Barry Cottle, Senior Vice President and General Manager of EA Interactive, explained in a statement, "Social gaming, with its emphasis on friends and community, is seeing tremendous growth and this is the right time to invest to strengthen our participation in this space."

Indeed, Playfish should make a good partner for EA.  The company describes itself as a leader in the social gaming industry, and has received backing from Accel Partners (which also invested in Facebook) and Index Ventures (which put its weight behind Last.fm and Skype).

Moreover, Playfish claims that over 150 million of its games have been installed.  (Playfish’s top games are Country Story, Pet Society, Restaurant City, and Who Has The Biggest Brain? in case you’re curious.)

And that large number brings us back to the matter of Playfish’s price.  EA’s paying $275 million in cash and $25 million in "equity retention arrangements" up front.  Then, as much as $100 million more will be delivered if unspecified performance milestones are met between now and the end of 2011.

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EA Acquires Playfish For (Maybe) $400 Million
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  • http://blog.games.com Laurent Courtines

    Thankfully, Playfish was a far less spammy than it’s larger rival Zynga. Having met Sebastien and followed the facebook game space, it’s clear that Playfish is the better, long term social game company than Zynga IMO.
    That said, it will be interesting as you say, to see what happens in this space.
    My thought is that, not much will change for playfish. Playfish will be used a vehicle to show it’s users the power of EA”s silent assassin, Pogo.com. Upsells and offers to check out Pogo will be where the synergy will come in.
    The key will be meshing the cultures of the older Pogo, and the younger Playfish.

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