EA formally announced the acquisition of social games developer Playfish today for an estimated $300 million, with another $100 million incentive promised if the London-based startup meets certain expectations before 2012.
Gamers may recognize Playfish as the company behind popular Facebook games like Restaurant City or Pet Society, but they're also responsible for bringing simple browser-based social gaming to platforms like the iPhone and Android. The acquisition brings Playfish's ten titles to EA's stable of mobile and browser-based games, which already includes recent releases like Rock Band for the iPhone, the free-to-play Battlefield Heroes and EA 2D's Flash RPG Dragon Age Journeys.
Under the terms of the agreement Playfish will be incorporated into EA Interactive, and they bring with them more than 60 million active users per month across more than 150 million game installs operating worldwide. It all boils down to an estimated 1 billion game sessions every month that will now be played through EA's servers, but check out the press release for further comment:
"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," said Barry Cottle, Senior Vice President and General Manager of EA Interactive. "EAi has been successfully leading the charge for EA, and with the addition of proven expertise from Playfish, their broad consumer base and strong game brands, we're moving ahead aggressively in our plans to lead in the category of cross-platform social entertainment."
"The industry is undergoing dramatic transformation and joining EA is the ideal opportunity for us to push forward our goals to lead in the social entertainment evolution on a faster and much larger scale," said Kristian Segerstrale, CEO and Co-founder of Playfish. "EAi's vision and entrepreneurial culture are consistent with our own, and together, we are in position to be the company that defines new and innovative connected experiences that will change the way people play games."