Electronic Arts acquires social network gaming company

MUMBAI: Electronic Arts Inc has acquired Playfish, a creator of social network games. The acquisition accelerates EA’s position in social entertainment and strengthens its focus on the transition to digital and social gaming. Playfish will operate within EA Interactive, a division of EA focused on the web and on wireless.

EA has acquired Playfish for approximately $275 million in cash and approximately $25 million in equity retention arrangements. In addition, the sellers are entitled to additional variable cash consideration, up to a maximum of $100 million, contingent upon the achievement of certain performance milestones through December 31, 2011.

"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. 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," said EA Interactive senior vice president and general manager Barry Cottle.

"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. 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," said Playfish CEO and co-founder Kristian Segerstrale.

Playfish has more than 150 million games installed and played worldwide on platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, Google, Bebo, iPhone and Android. Playfish currently has over 60 million monthly active players across its ten titles – including Facebook hits Pet Society, Restaurant City, and Country Story – driving more than 1 billion game play sessions every month.

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